A former federal prosecutor has warned that President Trump could face bribery charges following the release of an audio clip in which he and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel are heard pressuring a state official in Michigan not to accept the 2020 election results.
Andrew Weissman, a fierce Trump critic who spent 20 years working at the Department of Justice, tweeted, “Trump and Ronna McDaniel – Offering a thing of value to a public official to violate oath of office = a crime.” The phone call between Trump, McDaniel, and Michigan officials Monica Palmer and William Hartmann has not been included in prosecutor Jack Smith’s indictment of the former President because he considered it too ambiguous to use as evidence.
The recording, released in detail by the Detroit News publication, reveals Trump apparently “pressuring” Wayne County Board of Canvassers members not to sign documents certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the Great Lakes State.
“We’ve got to fight for our country. We can’t let these people take our country away from us,” Donald Trump is heard saying to Palmer and Hartmann, whereas McDaniel tells the officials to go home. “Do not sign it, we’ll get you attorneys,” she added.
Palmer and Hartmann left the venue without signing the certification papers and tried unsuccessfully to rescind their earlier vote to approve the result the following day.
Neither Trump nor McDaniel has refuted the content of the recording, and legal experts say its publication could spell significant trouble for Mr. Trump’s 2024 White House run. Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig said that the clip “bolsters” Jack Smith’s case against Donald Trump that he tried to interfere with the 2020 election.
Ex-Trump attorney Ty Cobb said the tape “shows the depths to which Trump personally participated in fraudulently pimping the Big Lie.” He added that Ronna McDaniel is “equally exposed.” Cobb furthermore claimed that Smith has so much evidence against Trump that he doesn’t need to rely on the recordings.