Trump didn’t learn. The remedy is clear.
I’m rarely surprised anymore, especially when it comes to the president. But even this is pretty brutal.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” President Trump told Georgia election officials in a taped conversation, released by The Washington Post. “So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break,” he later added.
Yes, “find” votes. And just how many votes? The precise amount of votes that would secure Trump’s victory in the state.
If that wasn’t flagrant enough, Trump doubles down by not-so-vaguely threatening Brad Raffensperger, the Georgian Secretary of State.
As Amy Gardner, who broke the story, notes,
“During their conversation, Trump issued a vague threat to both Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the secretary of state’s general counsel, suggesting that if they don’t find that thousands of ballots in Fulton County have been illegally destroyed to block investigators — an allegation for which there is no evidence — they would be subject to criminal liability.
‘That’s a criminal offense,’ he said. ‘And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.’
It is time to impeach the president a second time. “Run it back,” as today’s youth would say. The constitution grants the House the authority to bring articles of impeachment against the president for high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors. What am I missing?
Here is 52 U.S.C. § 20511:
“A person who in any election for Federal office —
(2) knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by —
(B) the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”
On the merits, the case is strong. The political willpower to tar the president once more in his final days might be difficult to come by, however.
The Georgia State Election Board has asked Raffensperger to begin an investigation into potential legal violations, both civil and criminal, of Trump’s conduct on the call.
We certainly live in…precarious times. Every living former secretaries of defense signed an open letter “cautioning against any attempt to use the military in the cause of overturning November’s election.”
It is time to impeach Trump again. It is time to hold unconstitutional acts responsible once more. History, justice, and the constitution demand so.
Trump is asking election officials to “find votes.” I’m asking Democrats to “find a backbone.”