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Some Trump Officials Knew Election Scheme Was ‘Improper if Not Illegal’ — and New Emails Prove It: CNN Legal Analyst



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Reacting to a report from the Washington Post that a slate of fake electors in Georgia who were attempting to award the state’s 16 Electoral College votes to Donald Trump were instructed to keep quiet about their work, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said it reeked of illegality.

According to the Post, an email went out to the conservatives hoping to assist Trump in his quest to win re-election that stated, “Your duties are imperative to ensure the end result — a win in Georgia for President Trump — but will be hampered unless we have complete secrecy and discretion. Please, at no point should you mention anything to do with Presidential Electors or speak to the media,” with the secrecy portion bolded.

Speaking with “New Day” hosts Brianna Keilar and John Berman, political analyst Laura Jarrett prompted, “Georgia is the sleeper in this whole thing. It is because it’s the — it’s where I think the most exposure is.”

“It speaks to this whole issue of intent,” she continued. “If this whole thing was on the up and up and you actually believed that Donald Trump was the rightful winner, why is all of this shrouded in secrecy? I think it speaks to the criminality of it, and it speaks to the potential criminal intent of the actors involved. Now what Trump knew, of course, all of that is going to remain to be seen. The fact that a member of the Trump campaign is on the record in an e-mail saying we have to do all this shrouded in secrecy is noteworthy.”

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“Criminal intent is always the hardest thing to prove in a white-collar case,” Toobin offered. “Donald Trump will say, ‘Look, I was doing this in the open, working with a lawyer, John Eastman, a Supreme Court law clerk, what — where is the secrecy here?”

“That e-mail suggests that they were operating in secret which suggests that they knew they were doing something wrong,” Toobin continued. “In fairness, we need to point out the person who sent that e-mail appears to be a fairly low-level person. Where he got the instruction to act in secrecy, that’s something people want to know. But it’s a suggestion that at least some people in the Trump orbit knew that this was an improper, if not an illegal, operation.”

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