Here's why Trump's allies could be prosecuted for criminal fraud – according to a legal expert
Donald Trump (AFP)

On CNN Wednesday, former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Elie Honig explained how the GOP plot to submit fake Trump electors in states Joe Biden won could constitute a crime.

"What specific law or laws might have been broken with these fake electoral receipts, if you want to call them that, ballots?" asked anchor Jim Sciutto.

"I think — by the way, the fact that we're talking about documents that weren't just sort of drafted and then kicked around in back rooms in the Willard Hotel, these were documents drafted and submitted to the National Archives, that is a federal agency en route to Congress — that places this more squarely in the realm of potential crimes," said Honig. "It is a federal crime to submit a false document or to make a false statement to the federal government if your intent is to defraud."

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"The question is going to be what was the intent behind these documents," said Honig. "I think prosecutors will be looking to see were they trying to mislead or trick or overpower Congress in order to install the wrong electors? The defense will be ... no, we weren't trying to trick anybody, we wanted to have these in place in case the courts came in, and reversed anything or Congress reversed anything. Some of the elector certificates, two of the seven, actually say that, the other five do not, though. I think it is going to be a stronger case to make against the five that do not say that."

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Elie Honig says fake elector plot could be prosecuted as fraud