On January 4th, American media published an alleged phone call in which US President Donald Trump could allegedly be heard pressuring Georgia’s Secretary of State to recount the Presidential election votes.
The recording was first obtained by the Washington Post.
The full transcript can be read on several American media websites, such as CNN.
“We have won this election in Georgia based on all of this. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know I mean, having the correct — the people of Georgia are angry. And these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday night. Along with others that we’re going to have by that time which are much more substantial even. And the people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated. Because the 2,236 in absentee ballots. I mean, they’re all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms law firms, etc. and even if you cut ’em in half, cut ’em in half and cut ’em in half, again, it’s more votes than we need,” Trump said.
To which Raffensperger responded the following:
“Well Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong. We talked to the congressmen and they were surprised.
But they — I guess there was a person Mr. Braynard who came to these meetings and presented data and he said that there was dead people, I believe it was upward of 5,000. The actual number were two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted. So that’s wrong. There were two.”
David J. Worley, an Atlanta lawyer, and the only Democrat on the election board in Georgia, said a transcript of the hour-long call, amounted to “probable cause” to believe that Trump had violated Georgia election code.
“It’s a crime to solicit election fraud, and asking the secretary to change the votes is a textbook definition of election fraud,” he said.
He wrote a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to investigate possible civil and criminal violations committed by President Donald Trump.
Worley said that a complaint citing the same statute had previously been filed by Michael Moore, a former U.S. attorney in Georgia, against Sen. Lindsey O. Graham.
Raffensperger told the Washington Post back in November that Graham, among other Republicans, had been pressuring him to exclude ballots in the state’s presidential election recount. The senator had questioned the validity of legally cast absentee ballots, Raffensperger said.
In another part of the call, Trump says that there is nothing wrong with Raffensperger admitting that he “recounted.”
“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump says, according to audio of the call. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
The state conducted three separate ballot counts, resulting in two official certifications of Biden’s victory. Final results show Biden won 11,779 more votes than Trump out of nearly 5 million cast.
Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel reject Trump’s assertions and tell the president that he was relying on debunked conspiracy theories spread on social media about what was a fair and accurate election.
Leading up to the elections, and even after them, there were concerns that Trump would use the US military to stay in power.
This is unlikely to work, since ten former defense secretaries urged Trump to concede, writing in a joint article that the time for questioning the results had passed, and that any effort to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes “would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.”
“Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted.
The time for questioning the results has passed.
Efforts to involve the US armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.
Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties.”
The ten former Pentagon leaders also warned that impeding a full and smooth transition of the department of defence before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th could make the country “vulnerable to actions by adversaries seeking to take advantage of the situation”.
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