The lawmakers claimed that Trump “threatened and berated” Raffensperger for the duration of the roughly hour-long call as he asked the secretary of state to “find” votes to overturn the results of the election.
Additionally, they said Trump “made a number of other statements soliciting election fraud.”
“As Members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes. We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the President,” they wrote.
The letter continued to cite a series of federal and state laws regarding elections. The first law they cited concerns elected officials “knowingly and willfully” depriving or defrauding “the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by … the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent.”
“In this case Mr. Trump, for purposes of a federal election, solicited Secretary of State Raffensperger to procure ballots that are known to be false by threatening him to ‘find 11,780 votes,'” the lawmakers wrote.
The other law cited in the letter makes it illegal to “willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person’s vote.”
“During the phone conversation, Mr. Trump, under color of law, solicited Secretary of State Raffensperger to re-tabulate or ‘recalculate’ the votes, which would have deprived Georgia voters of the accurate count of their votes,” they added.
Additionally, the letter cited a Georgia law that dictates that someone “commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree” when “he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.”
Again, the lawmakers noted Trump’s request that Raffensperger “find” votes. They also asked Wray to refer the call to Georgia’s attorney general or “the appropriate district attorney in Georgia.”
Finally, they wrote, “The evidence of election fraud by Mr. Trump is now in broad daylight. The prima facie elements of the above crimes have been met. Given the more than ample factual predicate, we are making a criminal referral to you to open an investigation into Mr. Trump.”
In an audio clip of the call, published by The Washington Post, Trump can be heard pressing Raffensperger to “find 11,780” votes to change the outcome of the state’s election results.
Wray was appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate in August 2017.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.