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Trump lawyer’s ‘defense of rap lyrics’ could keep Trump out of jail Story-level




What was former President Donald Trump’s infamous call to a Georgia state official as evidence of a crime?

Not according to Trump’s lawyer, Drew Findling. And to illustrate his point, Findling makes a comparison to the rap game.

Findling, who built a career representing the big names in hip hoplike Cardi B, Migos and Gucci Mane, argues that there is a link between prosecutors controversial use of rap lyrics to support criminal charges against hip-hop stars, and Trump’s notorious phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which Trump said he wanted to “find” enough votes to allow him to win Georgia in the 2020.

And that link is, according to Findling: context.

“When we look at the full context, that’s when we realize there’s no criminal case,” Findling told VICE News during an exclusive interview at his home late last year. “And that’s one of the reasons we got into this case when we were asked to.”

he hour-long phone call between Trump and Raffensperger is a focal point in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ sprawling investigation into attempts by Trump and his allies to reverse their 2020 election defeat in Georgia. The probe is now heading towards a conclusion, after a special purpose grand jury recommended charging more than a dozen people last month, “potentially” including Trump, according to the chair of the panel. Willis said in late January that prosecution decisions are “imminent.”

Some of Trump’s lines from that call, which was recorded and leaked toward Washington Post among othershave bounced around the media, especially the part where Trump told Raffensperger that he wanted to “find” enough votes to surpass Biden’s 11,779 votes.

About halfway through the call, Trump said, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.”

But focusing on just a few lines of the call is a mistake, Findling argues, for the same reason that prosecutors miss the mark when they rely on a few words hip-hop artists use on their albums to endorse criminal charges against rap stars.

“Prosecutors, first of all, don’t know anything about letters,” Findling told me. “They will get eight or nine words. They’ll pull out something that lasts a few seconds and say, ‘Uh huh, this is evidence of some wrongdoing.’ In the same way, no one ever talks about the entire 62 minutes. No one ever talks about the circumstances surrounding those 62 minutes.”

Findling declined to delve further into the details of the Trump case, or say what the most important additional information about the phone call might be. However, in August, shortly after he was hired to handle the case, he told the New York Times that the Trump-Raffensperger conversation amounted to an effort to “negotiate a resolution” to a civil legal matter.

Such an explanation would present the phone call, which had multiple lawyers on the line for both sides, as an attempt to mediate the election dispute, rather than, as Trump critics would say, as an attempt by a president in functions. to steal an election he lost.

It remains to be seen whether Willis will agree with Findling’s take on the call or treat it as evidence supporting a future indictment against the former president. Now that the special purpose grand jury has completed its report and made recommendations, Willis must decide whether to pursue criminal charges from a regular grand jury.

But he has made it clear that he views the use of letters in a criminal charge as fair game, as Willis did recently. against Young Thug.

His office’s sweeping indictment against the rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, along with more than two dozen others for alleged gang activity, cited his lyrics. It’s includes time he rapped in 2021: “I killed his man in front of his mama.” Williams has pleaded not guilty.

“No one ever talks about the circumstances surrounding those 62 minutes”

In August, Willis told a Story-level conference: “I think if you decide to admit your crimes for a moment, I’ll use it.”

She added: “I have some legal advice. Don’t confess to crimes in rap lyrics if you don’t want them used, or at least get out of my county.”

The special purpose grand jury put a special focus on the call, Chairman Emily Kohrs told reporters last week.

“We definitely started with the first phone call, the call to Secretary Raffensperger that was so publicized,” Kohrs told the New York Timesbefore stating that Trump is “potentially” among the names recommended for criminal indictment.

Trump has insisted that he did nothing wrong and that the call to Raffensperger was “perfect.”

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