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    Ted Lieu Weighing Legal Ramifications of Reported Trump Justice Department Call

    Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) has said “we’re looking into” the legal consequences of claims former President Donald Trump urged senior Justice Department officials to declare the 2020 election “corrupt.”

    The Californian Democrat responded to Friday’s release by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of handwritten notes outlining a phone call between Trump and then-acting Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen on December 27 2020.

    The notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then Rosen’s deputy who was on the call, state that Trump had said: “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”

    Trump has repeatedly insisted that the election he lost to President Joe Biden was rigged, despite no evidence of fraud on a level that would have changed the outcome.

    Democrats have seized on the documented phone conversation, due to the suggestion that Rosen and Donoghue were being asked by the ex-president to back his stance on the results.

    18 USC § 610 makes it a crime “for any person to…attempt to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, any employee of the Federal Government…to engage in, or not to engage in, any political activity”. Does former President’s misconduct violate this law? We’re looking into it. https://t.co/Eiei7hviE3

    — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 30, 2021

    18 USC § 595 makes it a crime for a person employed by a US Dept or agency to use “official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting…the election of any candidate for the office of President”. Does this law apply to the former President? We’re looking into it. https://t.co/etB8lo3GGE

    — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 30, 2021

    Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who chairs the committee which is examining the attempts to overturn the 2020 results, said in a statement the notes showed Trump “directly instructed our nation’s top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election.”

    Lieu suggested on Friday that a probe was underway into the legal ramifications of the phone call, in referring to the part of the U.S. code dealing with interference by administrative employees of federal, state, or territorial governments.

    “18 USC § 595 makes it a crime for a person employed by a US Dept or agency to use ‘official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting…the election of any candidate for the office of President,” he tweeted.

    “Does this law apply to the former President? We’re looking into it,” Lieu added, sharing an Associated Press article detailing the notes of the phone call.

    In a follow up tweet, he cited the part of the U.S. Code that refers to “coercion of political activity.”

    “18 USC § 610 makes it a crime ‘for any person to…attempt to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, any employee of the Federal Government…to engage in, or not to engage in, any political activity’.

    “Does former President’s misconduct violate this law? We’re looking into it,” Lieu added, although he did not specify whether he was referring to the probe by the oversight and government reform committee, of which he is not a member.

    Committee chairwoman Maloney also said in her statement Friday that interviews with key witnesses have been scheduled “to investigate the full extent of the former President’s corruption.”

    “I will exercise every tool at my disposal to ensure all witness testimony is secured without delay,” she added.

    Newsweek has contacted the offices of Lieu, Trump and the DOJ for comment.

    Representative Ted Lieu at the Capitol
    Rep. Ted Lieu at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC in February 2021. He said “we’re looking into” the legal ramifications of a report ex-President Donald Trump asked for the 2020 election results to be called “corrupt.”
    Stefani Reynolds/Getty

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