By JEFF AMY, DARLENE Superville and Kate Mumbai, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump pressured GeorgiaThe Republican Secretary of State cited repeated, unproven claims of fraud to the Secretary of State to get enough votes to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the state’s presidential election, and if officials did not change the vote count The possibility of “criminal offenses” is increasing, according to one: recording of conversations.
The phone call with Secretary Brad Raffensparger on Saturday was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president under a pressure to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election. The president, who has refused to accept his loss for Democratic presidential-election Biden, has repeatedly argued that Raffenspar could change certified results.
“That’s what I want to do.” I just want to find 11,780 votes, which we have more than one, “Trump said. Because we won the state.”
Georgia counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s victory by a margin of 11,779, Raffenspar said: “President Trump, we have many lawsuits, and we have to respond to the lawsuits and satisfaction in court. We Do not agree that you have won. “
Audio snippets of the conversation were previously posted online by The Washington Post. The Associated Press received full audio of Trump’s conversations with Georgia officials from a person on the call. The AP has a policy of disbarment and not raising unsubstantiated allegations. The AP plans to post full audio as it annotates a transcript with fact-checking material.
He leaves office nearly two weeks before Trump’s new intervention and persistent and unfounded claims of fraud and two days before there are twin runoff elections in Georgia that will determine political control of the US Senate.
The president used the hour-long talks to tick through a list of claims about the election in Georgia, with hundreds of thousands of ballots mysteriously appearing in Fulton County, including Atlanta. Officials have said that there is no evidence of this happening.
Georgia officials are heard on the call repeatedly pushing against the president’s claim, stating that he is relying on debunked principles and in one case, selectively edited the video.
At another point in the conversation, Trump threatened Ruffensparger, secretary of state’s legal counsel, and Ryan Germany, both of whom suggested they would be criminally charged if thousands of ballots were illegally destroyed in Fulton County. Can be responsive. There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.
“It’s a criminal offense,” Trump says. “And you can’t let that happen.”
Others on the call included attorney assisting Trump, including White House chief Mark Meadows and Washington lawyer Caleta Mitchell.
Democrats and some Republicans condemned Trump’s actions, while at least one Democrat urged a criminal investigation. Legal experts said Trump’s behavior raised questions about possible election law violations.
Biden’s senior adviser, Bob Bauer, recorded a recording of Trump’s “irrefutable evidence” by threatening an officer of his own party to “save the state’s valid, certified vote count and forge another in its place”.
“It captures the whole, disgusting story about Donald Trump’s attack on American democracy,” Bauer said.
Sen. Dick durbin IllinoisThe No. 2 Democrat in that chamber said, Trump’s conduct is “nothing short of a criminal investigation.”
Trump confirmed in a tweet on Sunday that he had spoken with Raffenspar. The White House referred to questions from Trump’s reunion campaign, which did not respond to an email request for comment on Sunday. Raffensparger’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump has repeatedly attacked how Ruffensperger conducted the Georgia election, claiming no evidence that the state’s 16 electoral votes were wrongly given to Biden.
“He has no clue!” Trump tweeted Raffenspar, saying state officials were “unwilling or unable” to answer the question.
Raffensparger’s Twitter response: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will be revealed. “
Various election officials across the country and Trump’s former Attorney General, William Barr, have said that there was no widespread fraud in the election. Republican governor in Arizona And Georgia, the major battleground, is crucial to Biden’s victory, he also vowed for the integrity of his state’s elections. Nearly all legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been overruled by judges, including two tosses by the Supreme Court, including three Trump-nominated justices.
In Georgia, ballots were counted three times, including a mandatory hand count and a Trump-requested iteration.
Still, Trump has publicly boycotted the election, worrying Republicans, who are running against Democratic Rafael Warnock and Republican David Perdue against Democratic John Osoff. May prevent voters from participating in Tuesday’s race.
Rebecca Green, who helps direct the election law program at William and Mary Law School, said it is appropriate for a candidate to question the outcome of an election, but the procedures for doing so for the presidential election have changed their course. has driven. States have certified their votes.
Green said Trump raised “a lot of questions” as to whether he violated any election laws.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias said Trump is guilty of “malicious and possibly illegal, conduct”.
Trump noted the call that he intended to repeat his claims about Monday night’s fraud in Dalton, a heavily Republican region of northern Georgia.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” he says on the recording.
Biden is also due to campaign in Georgia on Monday, and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris arrives in Garden City, Georgia on Sunday to call Trump from the stumps.
“It was a bald, bald, faced, adventurous abuse of power by the President of the United States,” she said.
Loeffler and Purdue have largely supported Trump in their efforts to reverse the election results. But on Sunday, Loeffler said he had not decided whether to involve Republican allies in challenging the legitimacy of Biden’s victory over Trump, confirming Biden’s 306-232 vote on Wednesday at Congressional Electoral College Does.
Perdue, who is getting distracted after being exposed to a staff member with the Chordovirus, said he supports the challenge, although he will not be a sitting senator when the vote occurs because his term has expired. Nevertheless, he told Fox News Channel that he was encouraging his colleagues to object, saying that this was “something that the American people just demand.”
Speaking at the Garden City rally, his rival, Ossoff, attacked Perdew and Loeffler for failing to stand up for Georgia voters, specifically stating that the state’s black voters were being targeted.
“When the President of the United States summons Georgia election officials and tries to threaten them to change the outcome of the election, to disappoint Georgia’s voters, to despise black voters in Georgia who chose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ handover to the state is a direct attack on our democracy, “he said.
Amy and Brumback from Atlanta reported. Associated Press writer Ros Barnum in Garden City, Georgia contributed to this report.
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