Monday, January 4th, 2021
“Criminal and Dangerous”
Trump call in Georgia causes an outcry
With a phone call to party colleagues, US President Trump hopes to influence the election result in Georgia. A recording of the conversation caused great outrage in the Democratic camp. Vice President Harris speaks of the “third abuse of power”.
“Criminal”, “dangerous” and “abuse of power”: The efforts of the incumbent US President Donald Trump to have his electoral defeat in the state of Georgia retrospectively aroused indignation among Democrats.
In a one-hour phone call, Trump had bluntly asked State Secretary Brad Raffensperger, who was responsible for the Georgia election – also a Republican – to “find” enough votes for him and to “recalculate” the result, as the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The newspaper published a complete recording of the conversation.
Other US media later reported on the content of the conversation, citing the recordings they had made. Trump also wrote on Twitter about the phone call with Raffensperger and insulted his party colleagues as “clueless”.
The elected Vice President Kamala Harris described Trump’s actions in the phone call on Saturday as a “brazen abuse of power” that reveals “the voice of despair”. Trump and his Republicans had filed six lawsuits against the result in the state and were thus unsuccessful, said the Democrat during an election campaign in Georgia.
“Behavior is a dangerous threat to democracy”
Former Democratic presidential nominee Julian Castro wrote on Twitter that “the President of the United States is blackmailing state officials in an attempt to steal the election he lost”. His approach is “criminal and dangerous”.
MP Bobby Scott said Trump’s “conduct is a dangerous threat to democracy and deserves a criminal investigation.” Prominent leftist Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Trump’s actions justified impeachment. Even the Republican MP Adam Kinzinger called Trump’s behavior on Twitter “absolutely appalling”.
During the phone call, Trump warned Raffensperger that he was taking a “great risk” and that he might be guilty of a crime if he did not act against election fraud. Trump lost very narrowly in Georgia in the November 3rd election. The Democrat Joe Biden was there with about 12,000 votes in front. The results were recounted twice, but the final result changed only slightly – there was no evidence of major electoral fraud.
Trump complained in the conversation about the “wrong” result in Georgia. “I only want to find 11,780 votes (…) because we won the state,” he said, according to the recording. “We won the election and it is not fair to take the victory away from us,” said Trump. “I can’t have lost Georgia.” “Hundreds of thousands” of questionable votes had been cast, the 74-year-old claimed. “Dead people voted.” Raffensperger should check the results again, demanded Trump.
There is “nothing wrong with declaring that everything has been recalculated. “But check it out with people who want to find answers,” said Trump. According to the recording, Raffensperger replied: “We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are correct.” He also pointed out that the results stood up in court. On Twitter, referring to Trump’s claims, he wrote: “With respect, Mr. President, what you say is not true.”
Trump and Biden for Georgia election campaign
The Washington Post article said the “rambling and sometimes incoherent conversation” showed how “obsessed and desperate” the president was over his electoral defeat. Trump still believes that he can change the outcome in enough states to secure a second term. Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawyers also took part in the phone call.
In Georgia, extremely important run-off elections for two Senate seats will take place on Tuesday, the result of which could overturn the majority of the Republicans in the Chamber of Parliament in Washington. Trump and Biden wanted to campaign personally in Georgia on Monday (local time).
Trump lost the election almost two months ago but continues to refuse to acknowledge Biden’s victory. His adversary is to be sworn in as the new president on January 20th. Biden secured 306 votes from the electorate, significantly more than the 270 votes needed to win. In Georgia, the votes were cast by 16 electorate.