Two House Democrats ask Wray to open ‘immediate criminal investigation’ into Trump
Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe into President Trump after the release of a recording of his Saturday call demanding Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) “find” additional votes for him.
The two said that the substance of the call should trigger a full criminal investigation.
“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 in a letter Monday. “We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the president.”
As former prosecutors, @RepKathleenRice and I believe @realDonaldTrump committed multiple crimes during the phone call in which he threatened GA SoS Raffensperger to “find 11,780” votes or to “recalculate.”
Today we made a criminal referral to the @FBI.https://t.co/M9l5DWaUJK
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 4, 2021
The letter specifically cites U.S. and Georgia law in arguing that Trump broke laws on election fraud and soliciting election fraud.
“The evidence of election fraud by Mr. Trump is now in broad daylight. The prima facie elements of the above crimes have been met,” Lieu and Rice wrote. “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.”
In the call, first reported by The Washington Post, Trump asks Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” in the Peach State. Raffensperger, who has repeatedly debunked the president’s claims of widespread election fraud in Georgia, refuses the request and questions his sources of information.
Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, also called for a criminal probe of the conversation yesterday.
“His 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,” Durbin said.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed the bureau has received the letter but declined further comment.
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