- President Donald Trump in December pressured the lead elections investigator in the state of Georgia to “find the fraud” responsible for his election loss, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
- There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, but Trump has repeatedly spread the baseless conspiracy theory since his loss in November.
- The reporting of this call came about a week after the Washington Post reported the existence of a later call that involved Trump pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to “find” enough votes to flip the state in his favor.
- Trump’s continued rhetoric about the 2020 election led to the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
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President Donald Trump on a December 23 phone call pressured Georgia’s lead elections investigator to “find the fraud” responsible for his election loss, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The president reportedly told the investigator they would be a “national hero” should they find the evidence he requested, according to the report. The Post’s reporting is based on an anonymous interview with a person familiar with the call who asked not to be identified because of the “sensitivity” of the conversation, according to the report.
The report did not name the investigator who spoke with the president.
The White House did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Saturday.
The Post’s latest report follows its report from about a week prior that Trump in early January pressured Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, to find enough votes to overturn his loss in the state. Trump lost the state of Georgia by about 12,000 votes in one of several key losses that paved the way for President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The call with the elections investigator took place about a week prior to the president’s call with Raffensperger, according to the Post report. It took place just before the Christmas holiday when the investigator was looking into reports of ballot fraud in Cobb County, according to The Washington Post.
As the Post reported, Raffensperger had greenlit an investigation into claims that officials in Cobb County had improperly accepted ballots with signatures that did not match those on file, but officials found the claims were without merit.
Raffensperger confirmed to The Post that Trump had called the elections official on December 23 but said he wasn’t sure of the specifics of the call.
“That was an ongoing investigation,” Raffensperger told the outlet. “I don’t believe that an elected official should be involved in that process.”
Since Trump lost to Biden in November, he, his lawyers, and his GOP allies have spent more than two months alleging widespread voter fraud despite repeated failures to substantiate their claim. Trump lost dozens of lawsuits in his bid to overturn the election results.
Trump’s rhetoric has been linked to the violent and deadly insurrection by his supporters on the US Capitol on Wednesday. His supporters, called to Washington, DC, by Trump for a “Stop the Steal” rally, listened to the president speak before they marched to the US Capitol and stormed inside while lawmakers discussed the certification of the Electoral College vote that reaffirmed Biden’s win.
While Congress voted to affirm Biden’s wins after it reconvened following the assault on the Capitol, several lawmakers including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, objected to the results over the baseless claims of fraud.
Biden won 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232. To win the presidency, a candidate must reach 270 votes.