Former President Donald Trump truly is his own worst enemy. All he has to do is open his mouth, and laws get broken, indictments start flowing, evidence builds, and criminal cases are shored up.
His most recent gaffe took place in Perry, Georgia, last month, when during a rally, he went after his arch-nemesis Gov. Brian Kemp for refusing to overturn his presidential loss to President Joe Biden. Now the Brookings Institution has updated its report to include some extremely damning comments Trump made in his vitriolic speech.
During the rally, Trump twice said he’d asked Kemp to call a “special election” in order to decertify his defeat in Georgia.
“I said, ‘Brian, listen, you have a big election integrity problem in Georgia. I hope you can help us out and call a special election and let’s get to the bottom of it for the good of the country,’” Trump said.
The report highlights Trump’s “special election” comments as a new piece of evidence for investigators, one that according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution could reflect the concept that Trump could have declared martial law in order to strong-arm states to hold new elections.
Trump’s comments are just another piece of evidence in the Fulton County’s district attorney’s office arsenal, as they build their criminal probe to prove election fraud.
“If he’s prosecuted, I’d be very surprised if that tape of him talking about the Kemp conversation does not end up being played at trial,” Norman Eisen, special counsel to House Democrats during Trump’s first impeachment trial, tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The new report lists Trump’s possible charges as criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; interference with an election; racketeering; making a false statement, and destroying, defacing, or removing ballots.
Additionally, the report focuses on the infamous phone call between Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where the president tried to bully Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to turn over his loss to Biden, as first reported by The Washington Post.
Trump’s camp is attempting to defend the former president, saying that he didn’t mean what he said at the Perry rally. He meant “special session,” not “special election.” (Trump said “special election” not once, but twice.)
“I’ve been doing criminal law now for over 30 years. I’ve gone after the bad guys and defended the wrongly accused,” Eisen told the AJC. “And the No. 1 rule is if you’re under investigation keep your mouth shut. By coming to Georgia and talking about these events, the former president has deepened his potential risk.”