On January 2nd, 2021, days before Donald Trump would stand before a crowd and encourage them to march to the U.S. Capitol Building, he made a phone call. He contacted Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and began to wheedle, plead, and demand that Raffensperger use his position at the head of the state’s elections to “find” just enough votes to flip the electoral outcome.
Every outrageous behavior from the Trump camp is quickly overwritten by a new one, and there have been any number of misdeeds since last January to distract from the events of that month, so here’s a brief refresher on the call. Raffensperger first tried not to take the call, because with pending litigation he thought it inappropriate. Eventually, he did speak to Trump, along with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and multiple lawyers on Trump’s end of the line, and an attorney and the Deputy Secretary of State on Raffensperger’s.
Throughout the hour-long phone call, Trump insists that the election was ‘stolen’ and that votes were cast in the names of dead people, and that Raffensperger must “find” 11,780 votes — Trump lost Georgia by 11,779. Washington Post has a full transcript, and the audio, of the call, here.
Trump has defended the call as “perfect,” insisting that he was only talking about finding election fraud, despite the fact that he was pressing for a specific number of votes, the number needed to hand himself a win. He reiterated this on Sunday on his social media.
Well, as it turns out, the nation will have an opportunity to weigh the evidence, as HuffPost reports that Raffensperger will be testifying at the next public hearing of the January 6th Committee, on Tuesday. Also joining the hearing will be Gabriel Sterling, Raffensperger’s chief operating officer, who presided over the Georgia recount.
While the exact testimony they’ll give to the Select Committee remains to be seen, Raffensperger and Sterling’s 60 Minutes interview from last year could offer some insight.
The two are very clear on some important details, including that Trump’s claim of thousands of votes cast for deceased individuals is flatly false (there were two in the whole state), that Trump intended to communicate a threat to Raffensperger, and that the call was anything but “perfect.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com