Third Georgia phone call blows a hole in central Trump election tampering defense: legal analyst

Third Georgia phone call blows a hole in central Trump election tampering defense: legal analyst
President Donald J. Trump, joined by First Lady Melania Trump, participates in NORAD Santa Tracker phone calls Monday, December 24, 2018, in the State Dining Room of the White House—a Christmas Eve tradition for over 60 years to keep track of Santa’s travels around the world. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Reacting to a report that a Fulton County grand jury heard a recording of Donald Trump speaking with Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and asking him to convene a special session of the legislature to the 2020 presidential election results, CNN's Eli Honig claimed the former president's legal team will be hard-pressed to dismiss Trump's call to Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger as a one-off venting of frustration.

Speaking with hosts Jim Sciuto and Erica Hill, the former prosecutor said the call -- a third one from Trump --is evidence of a "pattern" of criminality.

With host Sciutto mentioning there are now three Trump phone calls the grand jury has heard, he asked, "How impactful are recordings like this and, based on what the president said to those individuals, do they provide, in your view, the ability to indict?"

"First of all, there is no evidence better than recordings, "Honeig replied,"Because that is the defendant or subject's own voice they cannot dispute. And there is something to showing a jury, letting a jury to hear it and judge it by themselves."

"The fact that there is now three recordings, two of them in the public realm and, as Jim alluded that we just learned involving the speaker of the House, that to me makes this a pattern if I'm doing this as a prosecutor."

"One call can be a one-off, and two has a bit more design to it. But three would be a pattern, I would argue, that took place over several weeks," he elaborated. " So I think this sort of eliminates an argument by Trump that he was just sort of venting, he just had a bad day, that he said some things he didn't mean."

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