Rep. Kathleen Rice asks FBI to investigate President Trump's Georgia call

As Georgians headed to the polls Tuesday to decide who will hold two Senate seats, many are still taking about Trump's call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

News 12 Staff

Jan 5, 2021, 11:18 PM

Updated 1,198 days ago

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In the wake of audio released over the weekend of President Donald Trump making claims of election fraud and pressuring Georgia's secretary of state to "find votes," one Long Island lawmaker is calling for an FBI investigation.
As Georgians headed to the polls Tuesday to decide who will hold two Senate seats, many are still taking about Trump's call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Trump was heard on the call, first released by the Washington Post, asking Raffensperger, "I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have."
The conversation was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to pressure a state official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost. The renewed intervention and the persistent and unfounded claims of fraud by the first president to lose reelection in almost 30 years come nearly two weeks before Trump leaves office.
In response, Rep. Kathleen Rice, the former district attorney in Nassau County, is asking the FBI to investigate the call. She joined forces with Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) in writing a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying the president engaged in election fraud by asking Raffensperger to find him enough votes to win Georgia.
As Congress is ready to vote on certifying the presidential election results, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are asking questions.
"So I certainly think it merits a good look. Whether or not people decide to actually prosecute at some point, that's a separate issue," says Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland).
"It's disgusting and quite honestly, it's going to be interesting, all of these members of Congress that have now come out and said they're going to object to the election, I don't know how you can do that right now with a clear conscious," says Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois).
Some Long Island Republicans have put their foot down on the call. Rep. Lee Zeldin told News 12 "that conversation should absolutely have never taken place."
Rice says even if an investigation does not lead to charges, the message is clear that this behavior should not be tolerated. She is supporting a resolution to censure the president in the House.
"I think it is really important that we in a bipartisan way say this is not what makes us a democracy, allowing a president to act like a dictator, like an authoritarian figure," says Rice.
Touro Law professor Richard Klein says the president's intent is what will be key.
"There was a line in the conversation where he said, 'Find me 11,000+ votes ... yes absolutely there is language used certainly that can create some sort of issue as far as what his intent was," says Klein. "But just like with any criminal case, it must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt."
The FBI told News 12 it has received the letter but would not comment further on the matter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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