Donald Trump unintentionally admitted to two of the charges against him in his recent interview with NBC, a former prosecutor who was a part of the Russia investigation led by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller has said.
Andrew Weissmann appeared on MSNBC on Monday night, noting to host Lawrence O’Donnell that Mr Trump told Meet The Press that he knew by 10pm on the night of the election that he had won, despite the fact that many votes still had to be counted.
“That was something that’s got very little attention, and that was something of an effort to stop the count of votes,” Mr Wiessman said. “And the president and his allies had talked about this before the election and then tried to put it into effect on the night of the election. They knew there would be this thing called the ‘red mirage’.”
In many states, the votes cast on election day are counted first and mail-in ballots second. The mail-in ballots also take longer to open and process, Mr Weissman noted.
Ahead of the election, Mr Trump had bashed the mail-in voting system, baselessly claiming it was riddled with fraud.
Since many more Democrats had voted by mail-in ballots, Mr Trump would initially appear to be in the lead in many states that he would later go on to lose. This was the “red mirage”.
As outlined by the January 6 House Select Committee, Mr Trump and his allies had formulated a plan to go out and claim victory during yhis period of election night when Mr Trump appeared to be winning, suggesting that any ballots later added to the totals were part of an effort to unlawfully hand the election to President Joe Biden. In reality, legal votes were simply being counted, eventually leading to Mr Biden’s win.
“He went out and tried to get states to stop counting votes,” Mr Weissman said on MSNBC. “That feeds into two of the three charges, like a hand in the glove — which is obstruction and the 241 Civil Rights violation. Because you can’t do that. You can’t not count American votes. And that was really interesting to me that he was going back to that in this interview, this sort of ‘stop the count.’ Because that is part of the charges in both Georgia and in DC.”
Mr Trump is facing federal charges in Washington, DC and state charges in Georgia connected to allegations of election interference as he attempted to remain in the White House despite losing the 2020 election.
After finally leaving the White House, he removed boxes of classified information to his Florida club Mar-A-Lago, leading to federal charges in the Sunshine state and an arraignment in Miami.
Mr Trump is also facing several investigations and pending trials, both civil and criminal, in New York.