President Donald Trump faces scrutiny after a leaked phone call appears to show him pressuring a Georgia official to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results. Democrats are calling for a criminal investigation.
A leaked recording of a phone conversation between Donald Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State appears to show the president asking the official to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results, in order to give him a victory over Joe Biden. Trump has spent much of the time since the election citing widespread fraud.
The conference call occurred on Saturday between President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, as well as others including: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and lawyers assisting Trump, including Washington attorney Cleta Mitchell, ABC reported.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
“The people of Georgia are angry. The people in the country are angry,” Trump continued. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Raffensperger responded, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong.”
“That’s a criminal offense,” Trump added. “And you can’t let that happen.”
During the call, President Trump appeared to suggest that Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the Secretary of State’s legal counsel, could be held criminally liable if they failed to find that thousands of ballots in Fulton County had been illegally destroyed.
“All I want to do is this…I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump suggested. “Because we won the state.”
“President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions,” Raffensperger replied on the call. “We don’t agree that you have won.”
The ballots were counted three times in Georgia. One was a mandatory hand count, and one was requested by Mr. Trump.
Some Democrats are now saying the criminal offense was made by Mr. Trump and are now calling for a criminal investigation, The Hill reported.
“It’s a crime to solicit election fraud, and asking the secretary to change the votes is a textbook definition of election fraud,” David Worley, the sole Democrat on Georgia’s state Board of Elections said to The Washington Post, which first published the audio of the phone call on Sunday.
The number two Democrat in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin (IL) said the recording “merits nothing less than a criminal investigation,” The Hill reported.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-N.Y.), called the phone call an impeachable act.
“I absolutely think it’s an impeachable offense and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor, quite quickly,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Sunday as the new session of Congress began. “He is attacking our very election.”