Georgia Governor Tries To Make Trump Understand Election Interference Is Illegal
Donald Trump is a little upset that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp won’t override Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and fight to overturn the will of voters in their state. He’s asking for help in holding the office that America has voted for him to vacate, and Kemp is fighting to help the president understand that this kind of cheating carries legal risks that he, Kemp, isn’t willing to face on Trump’s behalf.
Trump tweeted Monday morning to complain that Brian Kemp hadn’t put a hand in to help discredit the election process and alter the outcome.
….Also, quickly check the number of envelopes versus the number of ballots. You may just find that there are many more ballots than there are envelopes. So simple, and so easy to do. Georgia Republicans are angry, all Republicans are angry. Get it done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2020
He’s reportedly asked people to commit crimes for him before, promising pardons if they’re charged — LawFare Blog reports that he did so with regard to unlawful seizure of private property for the border wall, for example.
In Kemp’s case, though, there’s another problem. Even if Georgia’s 16 electoral votes were turned over to Trump, by hook or crook or even by the book, it’s not enough for Trump to hold office for a second term. He won’t be available to offer protection to anyone charged for crimes committed on his behalf.
Kemp is trying to make the president understand this, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cody Hall, a spokesman for the Governor, issued this statement on Kemp’s behalf.
Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections. The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order. As the governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps – including a sample audit of signatures – to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.
Of course, even if he continued as president, Trump couldn’t pardon crimes at the state level. Kemp has no motivation to put himself at legal risk for a lame-duck president who won’t be able to protect him if he breaks state laws to soothe Trump’s ego.