The concrete legal lines that Trump and his team crossed in their election overthrow attempt: analysis
Gage Skidmore

In his Thursday summary, Washington Post reporter Philip Bump outlined the legal lines that former President Donald Trump allegedly crossed. He followed by asking who among Trump's team was involved and if they too can be held accountable.

It's clear that Rudy Giuliani was part of the legal effort to get the alternative slate of electors filed instead of the legitimate electors. The documents included knowingly false information, even going so far as to claim that the Michigan electors were duly elected.

"But, then, Giuliani didn’t write either of those memos; they were sent to a lawyer working for Trump in Wisconsin," Bump noted. It raises the question about who in the Trump campaign in each state was behind the efforts and at what point Trump knew.

There was so much going on at the fringes of the Trump movement that it's hard to pinpoint what Trump knew and when he knew it as well as where the theories came from, the piece explained.

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Bump cited a Dec. 2021 report that the Lincoln Project's ad about Vice President Mike Pence may have been part of what triggered Trump to home in on his one-time sidekick.

This week it was discovered that Trump's aides were pushing a memo about using the NSA to get access to voting machines. Meanwhile, Republican officials were pressured by people purporting to be "experts" on election security.

"This is the challenge, a sort of bizarro Watergate," said Bump. "What did the president know and when did he know it … from this galaxy of derangements aimed at keeping him in office? Where were legal boundaries crossed and who on Trump’s team, including himself, might have crossed them? Unlike the investigation into President Richard Nixon, the issue isn’t unearthing nefarious activity. It’s figuring out which nefarious acts bear Trump’s fingerprints and how legally fraught they were."

He compared it to the 2016 election and accusations of Russian interference. It was proven that Russia favored Trump in the election and that they hacked the DNC and top Clinton officials to publish their exchanges. It was also proven that members of Trump's team were connected to Russia and provided information to Russian allies.

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"And, like then, there’s a surfeit of revelations through which we need to wade to determine what’s significant," Bump explained. This probably offers a useful preview of the costs Trump himself will pay. Maybe he’s implicated in witness tampering, as he was in obstruction based on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. Maybe something more dire will emerge."

Regardless of who did what, at the source of all of it was Donald Trump and his effort to stop the 2020 election results from becoming official.

The problem is "that culpability is not legal culpability, and the possible illegal acts of those working to advance his goals are not necessarily acts for which he bears responsibility," he closed. It puts the country, indeed the world, in a precarious position where it's unclear how to hold a former president responsible.

Read the full piece at the Washington Post.

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