President Trump urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to “find the fraud” in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a “national hero,” according to an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation.

Trump placed the call to the investigations chief for the Georgia secretary of state’s office shortly before Christmas — while the individual was leading an inquiry into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County, in the suburbs of Atlanta, according to people familiar with the episode…

“Oh my god, of course that’s obstruction — any way you cut it,” said Nick Akerman, a former federal prosecutor in New York and a onetime member of the Watergate prosecution team, responding to a description of Trump’s conversation with the investigator.

Akerman said he would be “shocked” if Trump didn’t commit a crime of obstruction under the Georgia statutes. He said the fact that the president took the time to identify the investigator, obtain a phone number and then call “shows that he’s trying to influence the outcome of what’s going on.”