A number of Democrats are calling for a criminal investigation of President Donald Trump, The Hill reported.
The calls for an investigation come after audio was leaked to The Washington Post of a telephone conversation between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Democrats are focusing on a particular statement from Trump on the call: “I just want to find 11,780 votes which is one more than we have because we won the state.” The president also said, “there is nothing wrong with saying you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Democrats call for investigation
Several Democratic members on Congress are claiming that what Trump did on the phone call with Raffensperger was illegal. Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY) wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking him to open a criminal investigation into the phone call, The Hill reported.
“As members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes,” Lieu and Rice wrote. “We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the president.”
The letter continues: “The evidence of election fraud by Mr. Trump is now in broad daylight. The prima facie elements of the above crimes have been met. Given the more than ample factual predicate, we are making a criminal referral to you to open an investigation into Mr. Trump. Thank you for your attention to this urgent request.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is also calling for a criminal investigation of the matter, saying Trump’s “disgraceful effort to intimidate an elected official into deliberately changing and misrepresenting the legally confirmed vote totals in his state strikes at the heart of our democracy and merits nothing less than a criminal investigation.”
The FBI has not yet issued a statement on the matter.
Who released it?
Some Republicans believe that it may have been Raffensperger or whoever recorded and released the call that committed a criminal offense.
When Raffensperger was pressed by Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Monday regarding how the audio got into the hands of The Post, Raffensperger dodged her question.
While the secretary refused to admit he released the recording, he did say that untrue statements made by Trump prompted its release. The interview ended with Raffensperger assenting that, in MacCallum’s words, Raffensperger was “aware that [the audio] was going to be released” and was “OK with that.”
Trump addressed the matter Sunday on Twitter. The president wrote, “I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”