Legal

Ex-solicitor general says Trump ‘talking like a mafia boss, and not a particularly smart mafia boss’

Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under former President Obama, compared a recording of President Trump speaking to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “the way that people in organized crime rings talk.”

“I’ve heard the extraordinary excerpts that The Washington Post has, and, at least based on those excerpts, it sounds like Donald Trump is talking like a mafia boss, and not a particularly smart mafia boss at that. This is the way that people in organized crime rings talk, and you see it there,” Katyal told MSNBC host Alex Witt.

“You know, maybe that works in the Soviet Union or something. It certainly hasn’t been the way that America, the American government, has operated,” he added.

The Washington Post on Sunday broke a story in which excerpts from a phone call between Trump and Raffensperger appeared to show the president asking the secretary of state to “find” the votes needed to overturn the results of the election in Georgia.

President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia, a victory that has survived recounts and efforts by Trump to overturn the result in court.

Katyal, now a Georgetown law professor, said he believed Trump’s actions were “really, truly an impeachable offense.”

“This is, you know, the heart of what the abuse of power that our founders worried about so much is. It’s, you know, the idea that the government official can use the powers of his office to try and stay in office and try and browbeat other officials that disagree with them,” he said.

“So one question is whether or not a high crime and misdemeanor was committed. Certainly the tape makes it sound like it has. The second is whether or not there has been a criminal offense, and the federal code 52 U.S.C. 20511 prohibits a federal official from interfering in a state election process,” said Katyal.

He stated that the Department of Justice has to “at least has to open an investigation.”

Trump has already been impeached by the House. He was not convicted by the Senate.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said in the recording obtained by the Post. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong,” replied Raffensperger.

Trump also brought up conspiracy theories regarding Dominion Voting Systems and “shredded ballots in Fulton County,” which were both shot down during the conversation.

Democratic Rep. Don Beyer (Va.) concurred with Katyal’s characterization of the phone call, saying on Twitter on Sunday, “Trump is on tape threatening elected officials like a cheap gangster – trying to get them to commit massive, criminal election fraud – and Republicans in Congress want to keep him in power by overturning the vote of the American people.”


Tags Brad Raffensperger Don Beyer Donald Trump Donald Trump Georgia election results Joe Biden MSNBC Neal Katyal

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