January 4th, 2021
Trump Pressured Georgia Officials to ‘find’ Him Votes in Taped Phone Call
According to a report by the Washington Post, in a phone call with Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Donald Trump coaxed and threatened Raffensperger to find some way to award him the victory in Georgia.The 62 minute taped conversation reveal Trump making a series of allegations and conspiracy theories and threatening Raffensperger with imminent legal and political consequences in the forthcoming Georgia elections."Allegations" and "conspiracy theories" are loaded terms. Pollwatchers in Fulton County insisted they were told to leave because the counting was done, for example, even though they kept counting afterwards. The Secretary and media dismissed this with those labels until hard video evidence emerged confirming the pollwatchers' accounts. An absurd attempt to dismiss the video by left-leaning "fact-checkers" came up embarrassingly hollow and has yet to explain it.At one point Raffensperger referred to a video that Trump questioned: "I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his people, they sliced and diced that video and took it out of context. The next day, we brought in WSB-TV, and we let them show, see the full run of tape, and what you’ll see, the events that transpired are nowhere near what was projected by, you know —"
Trump who has so far refused to accept his loss to Democratic president-elect Biden, repeatedly tried to tell Raffensperger that he could change the certified results.“All I want to do is this.I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump was heard saying on the call.Mainstream media extract this quote to demonstrate corruption. In context, both in the phone conversation and since November, Trump has maintained he won the state by many more votes than the current differential. His point, then (whether one believes it's accurate or not isn't the issue), was to ask them to correct the election fraud by the least amount that will still ensure justice, since he was met with reluctance.
On Sunday, Trump had tweeted about his phone call with Raffensperger saying: “He has no clue!” and that the state official “was unwilling, or unable” to answer questions.Raffensperger’s response on Twitter said, “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.The truth will come out."Raffensperger's team decided to record the phone call after failing to do so with an earlier call Rep. Senator Lindsey Graham where Raffensperger accused Graham of asking whether he had the power to toss out all mail ballots in Georgia counties found to have higher rates of non-matching signatures. Both D.C. and Georgia have one-party consent laws. Raffensperger waited for Trump to tweet about the call before releasing the recording.
The Washington Post noted that while the tapes reveal Trump’s continuing efforts to overturn the election result, it is not yet clear if the leaked phone call represents unlawful actions by the President.US law makes it a crime to ‘knowingly and willfully attempt to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process."The Georgia code says that anybody who solicits, requests or commands or otherwise attempts to encourage somebody to commit election fraud is guilty of solicitation of election fraud," explained Georgia State Univ. Law Professor Anthony Michael Kreis. " 'Soliciting or requesting' is the key language. The president asked, in no uncertain terms, the secretary of state to invent votes, to create votes that were not there." Legal experts said Trump’s behavior raised questions about possible election law violations.House Democrats have drafted a censure, with other legal experts and politicians calling for impeachment. Questions are being raised on whether Trump will be able to self pardon himself. However, even if that is a legally viable option, it would only protect against federal prosecution, not against violations of Georgia law.
Prominent Democrat and some Republican lawmakers condemned Trump’s actions, while at least one Democrat urged a criminal investigation.Biden senior adviser Bob Bauer said it was “irrefutable proof” of Trump threatening an official in his own party to “rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place.” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, said Trump’s conduct “merits nothing less than a criminal investigation."
A statement from a bipartisan group of 10 senators, including Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy and Mitt Romney condemned the efforts to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results.A ragtag group of the most liberal Republicans and anti-Trumpers does not quite give power behind the description of "bipartisan." Senator Purdue, who is actually from Georgia, defended the President, pointing out that there was nothing new said in that conversation that Trump hasn't been saying publicly for the past two months. Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, said such efforts to sow doubt about the election “strike at the foundation of our republic."This oft-cited reason for accepting the election results most certainly applies to rejecting them as well-- election fraud was indisputably rampant (whether or not it was sufficient to overturn states' results is another matter), and this fact also undermines our democracy. This country is quite evenly divided, and only 20% of Republicans believe Biden won fairly. The undermine of democracy already occurred. Worth noting (and not mentioned here) is the how the election was "rigged" even before Election Day by the wholesale suppression of news that would be damaging to Biden and the emphasizing and targeting of President Trump by the mainstream media and Big Tech/social media through agenda-setting and content. 17% of Biden voters said they would have switched their vote had they heard about Hunter Biden's investigation alone!Sen. Tom Cotton, a staunch Trump supporter, has since joined those condemning efforts to undermine the election. "The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states -- not Congress... . If Congress purported to overturn the results of the Electoral College, it would not only exceed that power, but also establish unwise precedents... . Congress would take away the power to choose the President from the people."