Trump Demands Georgia ‘Find’ Enough Votes To Overturn Election In Leaked Audio
President Donald Trump has demanded Georgia’s top election official ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the election result in a newly leaked audio recording.
During a one-hour phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the sitting US President said: ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes.’
‘The people of Georgia are angry; the people of the country are angry. There’s nothing wrong with saying that you know, you’ve recalculated,’ he told Raffensperger.
Raffensperger is heard replying that the votes in the state are correct: ‘Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is that the data you have is wrong.’
You can listen to it here:
Later in the recording, which was released by The Washington Post, Trump alleged there was a rumour that ballots in the state had been shredded, and that voting machinery had been removed.
He is also heard threatening vague legal action against the official: ‘You know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal offence. You can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.’
Continuing in his pledge to overturn the result, Trump tells Raffensperger to ‘re-examine’ the votes with ‘people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers’.
‘Mr President, you have people who submit information and we have our people that submit information and then it comes before the court and the court has to make a determination,’ Raffensperger replied.
‘We have to stand by our numbers, we believe our numbers are right,’ he added.
Georgia was just one of several states in which Trump alleged widespread electoral fraud took place. There has been no evidence to corroborate this and all US election officials have denied Trump’s claims.
Following the election results, Trump twice asked for a recount of voter ballots in Georgia, one of the swing states Biden won. Both recounts confirmed Biden’s win, narrowly beating Trump by 0.2%.
Ohio State law professor, Edward B Foley, told The Washington Post the call was ‘inappropriate and contemptible,’ while University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told The Guardian Trump might be ‘in legal jeopardy after Biden is inaugurated’.
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, even suggested Trump’s actions were worthy of impeachment, saying: ‘The president of the United States has been caught on tape trying to rig a presidential election. This is a low point in American history and unquestionably impeachable conduct. It is incontrovertible and devastating.’
In December last year, following the third recount, Raffensperger said President Donald Trump’s misinformation about the election is hurting the state.
‘Georgians can now move forward knowing that their votes, and only their legal votes, were counted accurately, fairly, and reliably,’ Raffensperger said.
He also criticised Trump for spreading disinformation, adding that whether it was the president of the US or not, ‘disinformation regarding election administration should be condemned and rejected’.
‘Continuing to make debunked claims of a stolen election is hurting our state. Integrity matters. Truth matters,’ he said.
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