In call, Trump demands Georgia officials ‘find’ votes to tilt election

(CNN) President Donald Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election results after his loss to President-elect Biden, according to an audio recording of a phone call obtained by The Washington Post.

In excerpts of the stunning one-hour phone call Saturday, Trump lambasted his fellow Republican for refusing to falsely say that he won the election in Georgia and repeatedly touted baseless claims of election fraud.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump said in one excerpt of the call. Raffensperger responded, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

In another excerpt, 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.”

The Post also reported that Meadows, lawyer Cleta Mitchell and other Republican allies of the President were also on the call.
Trump tweeted Sunday that he spoke to Raffensperger on the phone in an attempt to convince him to look into unfounded conspiracy theories about the November election. According to Trump, Raffensperger refused to do so. Raffensperger responded to Trump later in a tweet: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
The call represents the latest extraordinary effort by Trump to change the results of the race he lost following weeks of legal and political efforts by the President, his legal team and Republican allies to overturn the free and fair election.

The ask comes just days before Congress will meet to certify Biden’s victory, a traditionally ceremonial exercise on Capitol Hill that will look dramatically different this year as Republicans in both chambers plan to object to the counting of Electoral College votes.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer seized on the call in a tweet Sunday afternoon, suggesting to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas that he and his GOP allies should investigate the President for his actions.

Cruz was among 11 Republican senators who announced Saturday they would support an objection to the Electoral College votes, if one is brought, and propose an election commission to conduct an “emergency 10-day audit” of the election returns in the “disputed states” — despite no credible evidence suggesting widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“You want to investigate election fraud? Start with this,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, wrote in a tweet aimed at Cruz that included a link to the Washington Post’s report.

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Categories: Good governance

5 replies

  1. President Donald Trump on Saturday pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to recalculate the state’s tally of presidential election votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

    In the hour-long phone call, a recording of which was first obtained by The Washington Post, Trump pushed baseless conspiracy theories about voter fraud and told Raffensperger that Georgians are “angry” with the election results.

    “We have won this election in Georgia,” Trump falsely claimed during the call. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, having the correct ― the people of Georgia are angry. … And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

    Raffensperger can be heard pushing back on Trump’s request, telling the president that the data he used to back up his claims are “wrong.”

    “All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump told Raffensperger at another point in the conversation. “Because we won the state.”

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-georgia-secretary-of-state-pressure_n_5ff20848c5b6fd33110ebd7d

  2. President Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions.

    The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”

    Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-georgia-vote/2021/01/03/d45acb92-4dc4-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html

  3. Regardless of what has happened since the election two months ago, or what may happen in the next few weeks, Joe Biden will almost assuredly be inaugurated the president on Jan. 20, and Donald J. Trump’s official reign of presidential terror will end that day.

    But, that is cold comfort, as we have trudged through these last months of President Trump trying, at every turn, to overthrow the will of the people by overturning the election he lost in November. Even if his ultimate loss is inevitably secured, it seems as though he is burning down the village as he retreats.

    Trump has essentially claimed that fraud occurred during the election in large swing-state cities within counties that have large African-American populations — cities like Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. But there’s a problem with that implicit theory, as The New York Times pointed out in November: “All three cities voted pretty much the same way they did in 2016. Turnout barely budged, relative to other areas in these states. Joseph R. Biden Jr. saw no remarkable surge in support — certainly nothing that would bolster claims of ballot stuffing or tampered vote tallies. Mr. Trump even picked up marginally more votes this year in all three cities than he did four years ago.”

    Trump didn’t lose this election in the cities, he lost it in the suburbs. But that thought is antithetical to the war Trump wants to wage in America between the suburbs and what he deems problematic “inner cities” and “Democrat-run cities” — code for where concentrations of Black people and other people of color live. That prevailing racialized perception in conservative politics is part of the danger that Trump’s campaign to undermine the election poses: It threatens to strengthen efforts to disenfranchise Black voters and other voters of color who disproportionately vote for Democrats in the future.

  4. (CNN)There were 18 attempted calls from the White House to the Georgia secretary of state’s office between the election and Saturday’s phone call, a source with knowledge and a Georgia state official confirmed to CNN.

    In a recorded phone call, first published by The Washington Post on Sunday, President Donald Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election results after his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, according to an audio recording later obtained by CNN.

    In excerpts of the stunning one-hour phone call that took place on Saturday, Trump lambasted his fellow Republican for refusing to falsely say that he won the election in Georgia and repeatedly touted baseless claims of election fraud.

    “The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump said in one part of the call. Raffensperger responded, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/04/politics/trump-brad-raffensperger-calls-georgia/index.html

  5. (CNN) Experienced prosecutors, election lawyers and some public officials have piled on calling for criminal investigations into whether President Donald Trump broke election fraud laws when he pressured Georgia officials on a phone call Saturday to “find” 11,870 votes that would reverse his loss in the state.

    While the path to a federal criminal case against the outgoing President isn’t an easy one to make, Georgia officials said the state could be considering a serious inquiry and the matter has already been referred to the FBI

    “If you look at the statutes, both the federal statutes and the Georgia state statutes, if you engage in some effort to solicit or procure election fraud, and you knowingly do that, that’s potentially a federal or state crime,” Preet Bharara, the former US attorney in Manhattan, said on CNN on Sunday.

    Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor and CNN contributor, was urging criminal investigation into Trump on Monday, arguing that at some point, prosecutors couldn’t keep looking past such shocking statements. The prominent elections law expert Rick Hasen also wrote on Monday Trump should be prosecuted or at least investigated.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/04/politics/trump-call-legal-jeopardy/index.html

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