Posts tagged with "Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger"

In hourlong phone call, Trump entreats, bullies Georgia secretary of state to overturn election results

January 5, 2021

He lost the general election last November 3, but he refuses to accept the well-documented results. Indeed, on Sunday, January 3, President Donald Trump begged Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the election results during an astounding hourlong phone call.

NBC News reports that the network has obtained a tape of the unprecedented phone conversation, during which the president offered a smorgasbord of false claims about voter fraud and repeatedly berated state officials.

“So look,” Trump told Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Excerpts of the call, which took place Saturday, were first published Sunday by The Washington Post.

The conversation is revealing in that it not only documents Trump’s threats against Raffensperger, but hints at what may have been said in talks between the president and other state and political officials nationwide since the POTUS lost the election to President-elect Biden by a decisive 7 million votes.

The phone call featured Trump, days before he is set to leave office, pleading with Raffensperger to alter the vote total and launching into a barrage of discredited conspiracy theories about the election. Trump even suggested that Raffensperger might face criminal consequences should he refuse to intervene in accordance with Trump’s wishes.

Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel, Ryan Germany, pushed back against Trump’s claims and said President-elect Joe Biden’s victory of about 12,000 votes in the State of Georgia was accurate.

“The people of Georgia are angry. The people in the country are angry,” Trump said in the call. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.

“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

Raffensperger responded, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong.”

“We now have irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place,” Biden Senior Adviser Bob Bauer said in a statement. “It captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.

At an event in Savannah, Georgia, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris referred to the call as “a bald, bald face, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States.”

Georgia has conducted multiple recounts and audits of the vote since November. Recently, an audit of signature matches in Cobb County found “no fraudulent absentee ballots,” Raffensperger’s office announced.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Georgia elections official says Lindsey Graham pressured him to toss out legal ballots

November 18, 2020

Georgia’s top elections official said on November 16 that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)—who has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee since 2019—pressured him during a November 13 phone call to toss out legally mailed ballots, as the recount of the presidential election continues in that state.

Indeed, Politico reports, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that he has heard from a number of Republicans, who are seeking to sway election results in President Donald Trump’s favor.

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday evening, Raffensperger said that Graham asked whether he could check signatures on mail-in ballots during Georgia’s recount and use a high frequency of mismatches to justify throwing away mail-in ballots in certain counties.

Raffensperger said he took Graham’s comments as “an implication of look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out.”

When contacted by Politico, Graham denied pressuring Raffensperger to throw away legal ballots,saying that he had a “very pleasant” conversation about the state’s signature verification process.

The Washington Post first reported the conversation, which reportedly took place last Friday—on the same day a Georgia lawyer sympathetic to Trump filed a lawsuit to prevent the state from certifying the election until all signatures could be verified. When presented with Graham’s denial on CNN, Raffensperger pointed out that the lawsuit sought to use a tactic similar to the one Graham proposed to stop the inclusion of absentee ballots in the state.

Georgia wound up being one of the key battlegrounds of the 2020 presidential election, with a razor-thin margin that eventually tipped in Democrat Joe Biden’s favor. But Trump has refused to concede and has gone after election officials in critical states — including Georgia — with conspiracy theories that the race was stolen from him.

During his CNN interview, Raffensperger balked at the idea of tossing legally cast ballots, and rejected the notion that election workers were not thoroughly verifying votes.

“We feel confident the election officials did their job,” Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger also said he was surprised by the vitriol from his fellow Republicans toward his performance verifying the election. His wife has received menacing messages on her cellphone relating to the election, he told Blitzer. Raffensperger and his wife have been isolating after she was diagnosed with coronavirus.

“You always think, I’m on this side of the aisle, obviously, and you always think your side wears the white hats,” Raffensperger said. “But people are really upset about this.”

He added: “I’m going to probably be disappointed because I was rooting for the Republicans to win,

Research contact: @politico