John Bolton wrote in his expose of the Trump White House that crazy events and unhinged presidential statements had a short shelf life. Just wait awhile and a new embarrassment would pop up, rendering the last one meaningless.
But will that pattern continue once the president leaves office. especially in light of his phone call beseeching Georgia officials to simply find enough votes for him to carry the state – some two months after he lost it to Joe Biden?
Angelo Genova has practiced election law in New Jersey for 40 years. True, this saga involves Georgia and federal law, but generalities can still be made from here in the Garden State.
For starters. Genova said in a phone conversation Tuesday that “at minimum” an investigation into the roughly, hour-long phone call is warranted. If nothing else, Genova said there certainly is an intimidating effect when the president of the United States calls up a state election official to talk about increasing his vote total.
And as Genova noted, there’s no dispute that it is “unlawful to procure fraudulent votes.”
Trump’s lawyers can theoretically argue that the president was just asking Georgia officials to check – and check again – to make sure all votes were counted.
But there is the tape.
Genova said that the tape is “pretty good, circumstantial evidence that the president was asking for ballot box stuffing.”
However, it remains a question if he will be prosecuted and if that prosecution would be successful.
On the latter point, Genova brought up something that anyone paying attention over the last four years had seen many times. That is the president’s penchant to clothe some of his more outrageous statements with such comments as “I have heard” and “People are saying.”
This may seem merely like a guy who tends to be unfocused, but it can be more than that. Genova said those qualifiers can give the president, or more likely the former president, some legal protection.
The so-called million-dollar question, of course, is whether Trump will ever be prosecuted.
That’s unknown, but Genova’s opinion is that it may be better long-term not to prosecute.
As we all know, Trump craves attention and any prosecution would depict him as a martyr to his admirers and give him a continuing public platform.
“It will inevitably keep him relevant,” Genova said.
And that may not be the best thing for the country.