This investigation is causing David Worley, the single Democrat on the board of elections, to hold off on introducing his own motion to refer Trump to the Fulton County district attorney at the board’s next meeting. “Any investigation of a statutory violation is a potential criminal investigation depending on the statute involved,” Worley said, and in Trump’s case, “The complaint that was received involved a criminal violation.”
At the same time, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, is considering whether to launch her own criminal inquiry.
“Former prosecutors said Mr. Trump’s calls might run afoul of at least three state laws,” The New York Times reports. “One is criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, which can be either a felony or a misdemeanor; as a felony, it is punishable by at least a year in prison. There is also a related conspiracy charge, which can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A third law, a misdemeanor offense, bars ‘intentional interference’ with another person’s ‘performance of election duties.’”
It’s hard to listen to audio of Trump’s call with Raffensperger and conclude he didn’t violate at least one of these laws, in particular the criminal solicitation to commit election fraud. But we are talking about a Georgia state government controlled by Republicans, and a U.S. justice system that is not built to deliver accountability to powerful people.