WASHINGTON: Georgia’s top Republican election official said the White House had forced him against his best judgement on Monday to take a call from President Donald Trump in which he urged the state to reverse his presidential election defeat there in November.
Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a call on Saturday to “find” enough votes to undo his election defeat in the southern state, according to a US media video.
I never felt it was necessary to talk to the president, but he pushed us, I think he pushed us with his team. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” They needed a message.
A state Democrat has called for an investigation into whether Trump on the call had broken Georgia’s electoral law. In the hour-long conversation, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel dismissed Trump’s allegations of election irregularities.
The call was taken, and we had a chat. Raffensperger said, “He did most of the talking, we did most of the listening.”
Yet I want to make my case that the knowledge he has is clearly plainly false. He had hundreds of hundreds of people who said that the people who voted were gone. Two we found. “That’s just an example of his bad data.” For two months, Trump has protested against proof that his defeat to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden was the result of systematic manipulation. Several state and federal reviews, as well as judges, have denied these charges as unsupported.
Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College by 306-232 and carried the popular vote by more than 7 million votes.
David Worley, the lone Democrat on Georgia’s election board, urged Raffensperger to review whether the president had broken state legislation banning requests to commit electoral fraud.
“It would be an understatement to say that I am troubled by President Trump’s attempt to manipulate the Georgians’ votes,” Worley wrote in a letter to Raffensperger on Sunday.
Raffensperger said that in Fulton County, home to Atlanta, the district attorney may be the proper jurisdiction to perform such an investigation. The county’s district attorney, Fani Willis, did not answer a call for comment immediately.
Staunch conservative US Senator Tom Cotton declined to sign on to a long-shot effort this week by nearly a dozen other fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate to contest Biden’s victory in another blow to Trump, warning that it was beyond the control of Congress and would “establish unwise precedents.”
In a speech on Sunday, Cotton said he would not join his peers Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and others in defying Republican Party leaders by objecting on January 6, a largely ceremonial validation act, when senators gather to count the votes in the Electoral College.