Trump asked another Georgia official in December to find election irregularities
The White House head, according to an audio recording available to the newspaper, urged Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to validate his victory in the state
Republican incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump called late last December to the head of an investigative panel under the Georgia secretary asking him to find evidence of fraud in the state’s Nov. 3 election. According to The Washington Post on Saturday, this conversation took place more than a week before the Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and his fellow Georgia Secretary Brad Raffensperger. At the time, the White House chief urged Raffensperger to find enough votes to affirm his victory in the state, according to an audio recording available to the publication. The investigator’s name was not disclosed. The president allegedly told the interlocutor that he would become a “national hero” if he found fraud. “Trump called the head of the investigative team at the secretary of state’s office shortly before Christmas when he was investigating allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County in suburban Atlanta,” The Washington Post claimed in the publication. Experts believe the president’s attempts to interfere in the ongoing investigation could be construed as obstruction of justice or other criminal offenses, though they warn it would be difficult to prove, the publication adds.
Earlier, Raffensperger initiated an investigation based on information that county election officials were accepting mail-in ballots on which residents’ signatures did not match those previously available. However, state officials then deemed such allegations groundless.
On January 3, The Washington Post disseminated an audio recording of a conversation between the American leader and representatives of Georgia, which turned out to be in her possession. In the conversation, Trump hinted to Raffensperger and his legal adviser Ryan Germani about possible criminal liability if they ignored his request. According to the newspaper, Raffensperger, and Germani, in turn, insisted that the results of the presidential election in Georgia were true and that there were no violations reported by Trump.
The U.S. election was held on November 3. On December 14, the electoral college approved the results of the vote, according to which Democrat Joseph Biden would become the new head of state. Trump did not concede defeat and appealed to the courts demanding a recount in several states. However, the actions of the lawyers of the head of the White House were not successful, their claims were rejected, including by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday in a joint session approved the victory of Biden, his inauguration will be held on January 20.