Legal experts are calling for the arrest and prosecution of Donald Trump after the New York Times reported Friday afternoon that the former president demanded Justice Department officials simply claim the 2020 presidential election was “corrupt” and then “leave the rest to him” as he desperately tried to stay in power.
The bombshell report from the Times’ Katie Benner is based upon contemporaneous notes from Richard P. Donoghue taken during a phone call on Dec. 27 as Trump pushed acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to intercede on his behalf in a futile effort to remain as president.
Quoting Trump, Donoghue reportedly wrote, “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me.”
Reacting to the report, commenters on Twitter — including some Constitutional law experts — called the president’s unprecedented request a smoking gun that should lead to his prosecution. You can see some of their comments below:
Today’s blockbuster report adds to the evidence that Donald Trump pressured the Department of Justice to help him overturn the election. @CREWcrew yesterday asked the Department to investigate his apparent violations of criminal law through this conduct.https://t.co/f3HuAr79tU
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) July 30, 2021
"'Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me' & to congressional allies, [Deputy Acting AG Richard] Donoghue wrote in summarizing Mr. Trump’s response." That's part of a pattern showing Trump's criminal planning to foment a coup:https://t.co/FqiPglOelm
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 30, 2021
George Conway has been and is right on this.
Many suffer from Trump-crime-fatigue, but this one is clear and huge abuse of power.
The reported facts and set of events are direct match for the heart of the Hatch Act's criminal provisions.
Also sounds like plenty of evidence. https://t.co/Y1LwcRlMbx
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) July 30, 2021
To fail to prosecute this would be like having a law making it illegal to bring an unauthorized weapon into a federal building, and then failing to prosecute the guy tries to drive a truck bomb into the building's garage.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) July 30, 2021
Trump pushed the DOJ to "just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me." He tried to usurp our democracy.
While Trump failed, he came awfully close. We need reform to ensure that no president can abuse his power in this way ever again. https://t.co/6s2JFjWCSS
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) July 30, 2021
This is what GOP leadership is still endorsing: Trump pressed top DOJ officials to declare the election was “corrupt” even tho they found no widespread fraud, “so that he and his allies in Congress could use the assertion to try to overturn the results.” https://t.co/7c6SITZ75D
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) July 30, 2021
ROTTEN TO THE CORE: “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and congressional allies, DOJ official wrote summarizing Mr. Trump.
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) July 30, 2021