Busted with no way out

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Every day, something happens that makes us question whether Donald Trump is playing stupid or whether he really is stupid. In a sense, the answer is “both.” He puts up one front in public to impress his MAGA supporters, but behind closed doors is a different story. Such is the tale told by Rolling Stone. According to that magazine, Trump has been consulting with his attorneys to find out how to suppress his “perfect call” to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. This request reveals two important things about Donald Trump’s thinking. First, he claims he did nothing wrong by asking Raffensperger to “find 11,780” votes. It’s sort of like JJ from Good Times who was always “finding” (stealing) things. Trump wanted Raffensperger to steal (or throw out) votes on his behalf. Second, Donald Trump knows how much trouble that call caused, which is now at the center of RICO charges against him in Georgia.

Here’s the thing. Trump is used to having his way in business (which he won’t be doing in New York anytime soon). He thinks he can just wave his little magic wand, and everything goes his way, including cheating people out of money, lying, and threatening people. Unfortunately, things are catching up with him, and they’re certainly not going his way. Even as Trump continued to declare that he “did nothing wrong” in calling Raffensperger, his attorneys think otherwise, as does District Attorney Fani Willis. As she wrote in her indictment, Trump asked Raffensperger to abandon his duties as secretary of state by throwing out legally cast ballots. Fortunately, Raffensperger’s office recorded the call, and a former “president” is under felony indictment.

Trump’s lawyers are likely having a hard time finding a way to get around this call. In Georgia, it is legal to record phone conversations if you are a party to the conversation, which means you don’t need the caller’s permission. Most personal injury firms record all calls in the event of client disputes. An office like secretary of state likely does it for similar reasons. Trump’s attorneys will not be able to get that tape thrown out no matter how much they try. Trump, in his own stupid wisdom, thought it was a good idea to make the call, and now, he must live with it. He was trying to intimidate Raffensperger, threatening a lawsuit and other nonsense. That may have worked for Trump in business, but this isn’t business-at least not the type he’s used to. This was official state business that Trump had no business trying to interfere with, though he now has another “brilliant” idea.

Trump claimed in his “Meet the Press” interview that the recording was illegal because it was taped by an assistant who was in Florida at the time, which state requires both parties to acquiesce to the recording. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Trump made the call, and Raffensperger has testified to the content of the call. Trump is always trying to trick his way out of problems, but he’s been busted on this one.

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