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The daily beast

Georgia prosecutors accuse Rudy Giuliani and Team Trump of false information

John Bazemore / APLocal Fulton County, Georgia, prosecutors are actively investigating whether they can bring charges against Rudy Giuliani and other members of the Donald Trump team for their mendacious attempts to interfere in the state’s 2020 election results is familiar with the matter. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney and former New York City mayor, twice presented false evidence and wild allegations of conspiracy theory to Georgia state lawmakers to commit widespread electoral fraud. Separately, on two taped phone calls to state election officials, then-President Trump made specific false claims that votes were dropped for him and suitcases full of votes were brought in for Joe Biden. In a February 10 letter to state officials, this was the first. Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis, published by the New York Times, noted that her investigation includes, among other things, potential violations of Georgian laws that “make false statements to state officials and local government agencies ”. There was no focus on the efforts of the legal team to investigate this specific criminal complaint. Instead, news has addressed the prosecutor’s potential use of electoral fraud or extortion of charges against Trump’s inner circle. The latter would require prosecutors to demonstrate a pattern of corruption – much like how law enforcement finds mafia bosses to be direct subordinates. The idea here would be to prove that Trump and his lieutenants conspired in a “criminal enterprise” to undermine a legitimate election. Several former Georgia prosecutors told The Daily Beast that investigators are likely relying on a state law that makes it a crime to “knowingly and willfully” make a false statement about “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the state government. The indictment provides a sentence of one to five years in prison. Applying this state law to the former president’s attorney would be an extremely rare strategy, say former prosecutors. But also Team Trump’s post-election behavior. Fulton DA’s public integrity team intended to focus on the wild allegations Giuliani made against Georgian lawmakers – an integral part of Trump’s multi-faceted attempt to overthrow the 2020 election results through legislature pressure and legal challenge. Also looking back, Trump’s numerous false claims in his direct phone calls to Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger (first reported by the Washington Post) and his six-minute phone call to an election investigator (audio published by the Wall Street Journal) On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reached attorney Cleta Mitchell, a member of Trump’s legal team, who played a key role in the phone call with Raffensperger. “I have nothing to say about it. I’ll take care of it in due course, ”said Mitchell. She and everyone else who takes part in this appeal are expected to be approached by investigators from Georgia. Trump advisers didn’t comment on this story, and neither did Giuliani. Former New York City Mayor’s attorney Joseph Sibley declined to comment on Tuesday night. However, a person familiar with the matter said that the former president’s legal strategy to combat false testimony would likely include freedom of speech, although such discussions are tentative at the moment. These efforts by a Georgian prosecutor are one of several government cases Trump is now facing. New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are both investigating the Trump Organization over potential insurance and banking fraud involving lucrative real estate across the country. Trump is also grappling with multiple individual lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct. For the last few weeks, Trump has remained largely public about this criminal investigation. Shortly after the investigation began, his senior adviser Jason Miller claimed that “this is simply the Democrats’ latest attempt to gain political points by continuing their witch-hunt against President Trump, and everyone is seeing it through.” Giuliani, acting on Trump’s behalf, went before the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on December 3, 2020 and set out the wrong details of his electoral conspiracy lawsuit. Among his worst obvious lies: that the state counted 96,600 “phantom votes”. This is the same claim that Sidney Powell’s attempt to overturn Georgia’s election results fueled her so-called “Kraken” indictment – a lawsuit that was immediately dismissed by a federal judge. Giuliani also brought forward several widely discredited witnesses, including a little-known cybersecurity advisor (and Republican Congressional candidate) who falsely claimed that voting machines across the country were technologically flawed in 2020. Russ Ramsland’s claims have been refuted by leading electoral security experts, who clarified that his Texan firm, Allied Security Operations Group, had completely misunderstood the technology in voting machines. Giuliani also played an edited clip of a surveillance video from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. what he claimed proved irregularities in the voting. This video was later analyzed by state election officials who dealt with journalists frame-by-frame to prove that there were no “mysterious ballot boxes”. Giuliani repeated the effort a week later on December 10 when he presented his case to the State House’s Government Affairs Committee. Former Georgia prosecutors told The Daily Beast that using false testimony was a novel and difficult undertaking. Retired after 20 years as district attorney in the Athens area last year. When Fulton prosecutors make false statements, they face jurors who mistakenly believe these electoral conspiracies – and would not believe statements are, in fact, false. He said defenders could also try to involve conservative Georgian lawmakers who don’t believe they have been lied to. It would also be outrageous to lie false testimony to someone who lied to lawmakers, said Alan Cook, a former district attorney who has served as “director of the University of Georgia Law School’s judicial program for nearly two decades:” Under such circumstances, it would be highly unusual to use the statutes to make false statements, ”he said. “In 13 years as a prosecutor, I’ve probably only used the law half a dozen times. It is typically used when state or local investigators are investigating a crime and questioning a witness who willfully and knowingly provide false information that is misleading the investigators. “As in: Pointing cops in the wrong direction when looking for a refugee. Titus T. Nichols, a former Augusta violent crimes prosecutor, said it was in line with the spirit of the law to spew Trump’s conspiracy theory team to beating Georgia with false testimony – wasting government time, ” said Nichols, who is now an associate law professor at the University of Georgia. “When you start to delve into ridiculous theories, you step over the line from“ I give my opinion ”to“ I purposely give false information. ”Giuliani’s decision to present an edited video as fake evidence of a fake crime, Nichols explains, that he crosses that threshold. “He knows he is lying when he says that. There are no secret ballots. This is him who is presenting false information. And since he is a lawyer, it is even clearer that he is lying. Than A lawyer can’t just come up with ridiculous theories, ”he said. Nicholas said Giuliani was being held at a higher level because he was a lawyer – albeit one whose professional status is under threat with New York considering a lockdown Man who was once Manhattan’s US attorney, as difficult as it may be to make false statements in Georgia, this approach has proven to be a reliable tool against Trump’s verb established at the federal level. Ex-campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to false statements in connection with the FBI’s investigation into Russian electoral interference. London attorney Alex Van der Zwaan paid the price for lying to federal agents about communicating with Trump campaign vice chairman Rick Gates. And the one-time Trump confidante Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to having given false information to a federally insured bank. There is no evidence that Giuliani committed an entirely different crime: perjury. Prosecutors could pursue someone who lies while he testifies under oath, as witnesses must do in a state court. But this is not the case here. In Georgia, individuals who testify before Senate and House committees will not be put under oath, officials from both chambers told The Daily Beast. Former prosecutors said it was much more difficult for investigators to make false statements against Trump because his lengthy forays were not officially presented to a government agency and were mainly composed of misguided opinions that he actually won the election: “It’s almost like that, like someone is selling you a car. They’ll say it’s a great car, ”said Cook. Instead, the Fulton County District Attorney has warned in her letters to officials that Trump and his team could face even more serious charges: incitement to electoral fraud, conspiracy and extortion. As part of that effort, Willis even hired attorney John E. Floyd, who literally wrote the book on the state’s RICO indictment. At the heart of this investigation is Trump’s appeal to the state’s top election officials when he called on January 2. “So look,” said Trump to Raffensperger. “I just want to do that. I just want to find 11,780 votes, that’s one more than us. “Biden beat Trump in Georgia by 11,779 votes. The ex-president’s comment could clearly be understood that he asked a Georgian state official to change the results of an election – specifically listed as a first-degree crime. The very last election-related crime listed in the Georgia State Code makes it illegal to solicit fraud. The sentence is up to three years in prison. Again, this type of behavior is also against federal law – as former US Attorney General Eric Holder was quick to point out when this appeal went public. That’s five years. When you listen to the tape, think about this federal criminal law. pic.twitter.com/eqoP1cVob5 – Eric Holder (@EricHolder) Jan 4, 2021 Read more on The Daily Beast. 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