Recently, on a secretly recorded call, President Trump pleaded with Georgia’s Secretary of State (R), Brad Raffensperger, to find votes that could overturn the election. The hour-long phone call between the two illustrates a President who is desperate to change the election results, despite his previous failures to do so.
Trump’s tactics to overturn the results include making the Secretary of State admit to a recalculation; “reexamine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers.” Along with miraculously finding votes, Trump says “I just want to find 11,780 votes”, which would give him enough to win him Georgia. The President also asked about machines that he heard had been tampered with, and asked questions such as, “Do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots?” All to which the Secretary of State replied, no.
In regards to the critical Senate election on Tuesday, Trump urged Raffensperger to give a statement prior to Tuesday about his ‘new’ findings. His reasoning being that “the people of Georgia are angry” and that Republicans “don’t want to vote”, essentially shifting blame onto the Secretary of State rather than accepting his own losses. Raffensperger continuously rejected the President’s demands and criticized Trump’s data calling it, “wrong”. Raffensperger also insinuates to Trump that social media is a problem creator for the President and is spreading misinformation because “people can say anything they want”, to which Trump replied, “this is Trump media… I could care less about social media.”
It’s also possible that Trump may have violated Georgia State laws regarding solicitation of voter fraud as well as pressuring a government official. By asking the Secretary of State to find ballots that were not legally cast for him, Trump violates the law to “solicit, request, command, importune or otherwise attempt to cause another person to engage in election fraud” which is a felony in the state. Although it is unlikely that prosecutors would charge the President, it is possible that there will be an investigation on him.
The fact that Trump said, “there’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated”, is proof of abuse of power, yet again. Acts like these are dangerous to America’s democracy and continue to put the country at risk. More Republicans are coming out against the President over this phone call and Trump’s denial of the results. Former Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, reprimanded Trump, after staying silent for weeks on the matters of the election results. Ryan believes Trump’s claims are “anti-democratic”, “anti-conservative”, and urged his peers to stop fighting the results especially ahead of the electoral count this week.
Overall the call did nothing to help the President’s vanishing case of election fraud. The President threatened the Secretary of States’ lack of finding more votes to be “a criminal offense”, and in response, Raffensperger refused to reevaluate results. This call was a telling reality of the President’s lack of power over his Republican constituents, the lengths that he will take to maintain his presidency, and how meaningless law and order is to Trump.
Staff Writer: Abi Baker
Editor: Lauren Shin