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Tag: georgia ballots

Top Election Law Expert Urges Prosecution Of Trump For ‘Belated Ballot Stuffing’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

America's top election law expert is accusing the President of the United States of committing an impeachable and removable offense and of likely breaking "both federal and state law" in his now infamous Saturday "shakedown" call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

The Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Rick Hasen, writing in Slate, says President Donald Trump "certainly committed an impeachable offense that is grounds for removing him from the office he will be vacating in less than three weeks, or disqualifying him from future elected office."

"His tumultuous term will end as it began, with questions as to the legality of conduct connected to manipulating American elections, and a defense based squarely on the idea that Trump's mind is so warped that he actually believes the nonsense he spews," Hasen writes. "Trump may never be put on trial for what he did, but a failure to prosecute him may lead to a further deterioration of American democracy."

Hasen says "Trump attempted fraud of his own, asking Raffensperger to engage in belated ballot box stuffing to benefit him."

He points to this portion of Trump's hour-long recorded conversation: "You know, I mean, I'm notifying you that you're letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state."

Hasen implores, "Make no mistake. In that last sentence, Trump was asking Raffensperger to manufacture enough votes to overturn the results in Georgia based upon nothing but Trump's false accusations of fraud and irregularities. In the previous passage, it sounded very much as though he were threatening Raffensperger with some sort of criminal offense if he did not do as Trump commanded."

He says Trump asking Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" is "the definition of election fraud." But he warns that "Trump is the rare potential criminal defendant to have plausible deniability about whether he accepts truths as clear as gravity, making any prosecution difficult."

Hasen urges prosecutors to take up the case regardless, for the sake of American democracy.

"Lack of prosecution or investigation demonstrates that there's little to deter the next would-be authoritarian—perhaps a more competent one—from trying to steal an election. Trump came a lot closer than he should have this time, and next time we may not be so lucky."

With Mounting Demands For Probe Of Trump Call, U.S. Attorney In Georgia Abruptly Quits

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Pak resigned abruptly on Monday, according to Talking Points Memo and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as the state finds itself at the center of fierce debates over the 2020 election.

It's not uncommon for U.S. attorneys to resign near the end of an outgoing administration. But Pak, a Republican who was appointed to his position by President Donald Trump in 2017, has previously indicated "he would not leave until Inauguration Day," Talking Points Memo reported. This apparently abrupt departure, then, is likely to draw scrutiny.

It's especially noteworthy because Trump himself suddenly became the target of intense criticism when the Washington Post published a recording of his call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over the weekend. In the call, Trump insisted he won the state, relying on a series of debunked and fictitious claims about supposed fraud and misconduct in the election that he claimed tilted the result in Biden's favor. Most egregiously, he told Raffensperger to "find" 11,780 votes, the number he believed he needed to flip the state and win its electoral votes. Trump even seemed to threaten Raffensperger when he suggested the secretary could face criminal penalties for his administration of the election.

Many observers, including top election law expert Rick Hasen, have suggested Trump could be prosecuted under federal and state law for this behavior. It is illegal to try to induce an election official to commit fraud.

There may be a mundane reason for Pak's departure. But the proximity to Trump's scandalous conduct suggests at least two possibilities. He may have left for reasons related to a possible investigation of the president for his behavior on the call and related actions, or he may have left because he was placed under similar pressure by the president or his proxies to find or invent allegations of wrongdoing in the Georgia election.

The more scandalous possibilities are also suggested by Trump's recent behavior toward the Justice Department. Trump made it clear he was not happy with former Attorney General Bill Barr's claims that federal investigators had found no evidence of fraud significant enough that it would have affected the result of the 2020 presidential election in any state. He has also reportedly been pushing for a special counsel to look into his allegations about the election. And since Barr himself abruptly left the Justice Department on Dec. 23 before Trump's term was officially concluded, to be replaced by acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, it's unclear whether there's anyone left who would stand up to the president's demands.

Pak's office would not provide any additional details about his departure, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Graham's Attempt To Toss Georgia Votes 'Threatens Foundation Of Our Republic'

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just faced his greatest fight for re-election againt a top Democratic challenger. He won that battle and kept his seat on Election Day, but the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee is now facing a controversy so dangerous he could lose it.

"The allegation that the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee pressured the Georgia Secretary of State to throw out lawfully cast votes describes conduct that threatens the foundation of our republic by one of the government's most senior officials," says Walter Shaub, the former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics. "It must be investigated."

On Monday Georgia's Secretary of State accused Chairman Graham of pressuring him to throw out all ballots from certain counties. Graham denies he pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger but the Republican elections official told The Washington Post he was "stunned" when it happened.

Shaub adds that Graham's actions were "inherently coercive."



And he calls Graham's response "a damning admission."





And he calls Graham's response a "damning admission."