An Obama-era solicitor general said Trump talked 'like a Mafia boss, and not a particularly smart Mafia boss,' in his call with Georgia's elections chief
- Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, said President Donald Trump talked "like a Mafia boss" during his leaked call with Georgia's secretary of state.
- On Sunday, The Washington Post published audio of a call in which Trump asked Georgia's top election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to "find" 11,780 votes so the state's election result could be overturned.
- "There's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated," Trump told Raffensperger, according to the audio.
- Katyal told MSNBC on Sunday: "This is the way that people in organized crime rings talk."
Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, has said President Donald Trump talked "like a Mafia boss" during his leaked call with Georgia's secretary of state.
On Sunday, The Washington Post published a recording of a Saturday call in which Trump asked Brad Raffensperger, who as secretary of state is Georgia's top election official, to "find" 11,780 votes so that Trump's election loss in the state could be overturned. President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia by nearly 12,000 votes out of about 5 million votes cast.
Trump has cited widely debunked claims to argue he was robbed of thousands of votes in Georgia, and on Saturday he was recorded urging Raffensperger to add such votes to Trump's total.
"The people of Georgia are angry - the people in the country are angry," Trump said, according to the audio. "And there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated."
In response to Trump's requests, Raffensperger said, "The data you have is wrong."
Appearing on MSNBC on Sunday, Katyal said: "It sounds like Donald Trump is talking like a Mafia boss, and not a particularly smart Mafia boss at that. This is the way that people in organized crime rings talk."
He added: "You know, maybe that works in the Soviet Union or something. It certainly hasn't been the way that America, the American government has operated."
—MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 3, 2021
Katyal went on to say the president's demands were "truly an impeachable offense," a characterization echoed by numerous other Democratic figures.
"I absolutely think it's an impeachable offence," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Sunday, with Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia also arguing that Trump's conduct was "a violation of state and federal law."
Speaking on Sunday, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called the phone call "a bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States."
Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Sunday: "If this isn't impeachable conduct, then literally nothing is."
Trump, meanwhile, was displeased at Raffensperger's lack of support on the call, tweeting on Sunday: "He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the 'ballots under table' scam, ballot destruction, out of state 'voters', dead voters, and more. He has no clue!"
Read the full transcript of the president's leaked call with Raffensperger or listen to the full recording published by The Post.
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