The persistent desire among some critics of President Donald Trump to see him imprisoned has only grown more pronounced as the end of his first term draws near.
As the Washington Examiner reported, law professor John Banzhaf is now calling for Trump to be prosecuted over the contents of a recently leaked telephone conversation with Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffenspeger.
Critics pile on Trump
The Washington Post published the contents of the call this week, including Trump’s expressed hope that Georgia officials would “find” enough votes to secure a win over Democratic nominee Joe Biden in November’s still-disputed election.
For his part, Banzhaf filed a complaint with Georgia’s Board of Elections in an effort to launch a criminal probe into whether the president could face charges related to conspiracy or criminal solicitation.
The George Washington University professor first gained national attention for his role in the investigation of then-President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
Banzhaf noted that Trump would be unable to receive a pardon if criminal charges were filed at the state level.
“The appropriate venue”
“Violations of state criminal laws could be crucial in Trump’s case since he cannot pardon himself for actions which constitute crimes under state laws, nor could he be pardoned by [Vice President] Mike Pence should Trump resign before his term ends and Pence becomes president,” he said.
Of course, many of Trump’s supporters claim the brouhaha over his recent call to Raffensperger is just the latest outrage contrived by a largely hostile mainstream media intent on destroying the president’s reputation.
Carl Bernstein, a reporter who also rose to prominence during Nixon’s downfall, called Trump’s conversation “worse than Watergate,” a common refrain over the past four years.
Raffensperger has deferred to Fulton County prosecutors in response to mounting calls to investigate the president over his rhetoric challenging the results of November’s election.
“I understand that the Fulton County district attorney wants to look at it,” he said. “Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go.”