Washington DC, Jan 4 (efe-epa).- Two Democratic lawmakers asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday to open an investigation against outgoing President Donald Trump for pressuring the top election official in Georgia to reverse the outcome of the state’s elections in his favor.
In a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Ted Lieu of California, and Kathleen Rice of New York, asked him to “open an immediate criminal investigation into the President” of the United States.
In an hour-long phone conversation, which was leaked to the media, Trump on Saturday tried to convince the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to manipulate the Nov.3 election results in his favor and overturn Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Trump asked Raffensperger to recount and find 11,780 votes to favor him, which is a vote more than Biden’s 11,779.
“As members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes,” they wrote.
During the telephone call, the US president repeated his unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and asked him to “find” the votes needed to annul Biden’s victory.
“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,” Trump said.
In response, Raffensperger and his team rejected Trump’s claim and told him he was relying on unfounded theories and Biden’s nearly 12,000-vote election victory in Georgia was fair but the outgoing president insisted that he change the final result in his favor.
He even threatened the Georgian secretary of state – a fellow Republican, and said he would be committing a criminal offense if he did not agree to his request.
In an interview with ABC on Monday, Raffensperger said that he did not think it appropriate for his office to launch an investigation into the call to determine whether Trump has committed an election crime by making the call.
“I understand the Fulton County District Attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go,” Raffensperger said about one of the counties where Trump insists there was a fraud.
Raffensperger insisted that the elections had been clean and that he and his office had “debunked every one of those theories that had been out.”
“I’m not a lawyer. All I know is that we’re gonna follow the law, follow the process. Truth matters, and we’ve been fighting these rumors for the last two months,” he said.
The telephonic exchange is the latest in a series of pressure tactics Trump has allegedly used to force officials to subvert the election outcome in key states where Biden won.
The president has made unsubstantiated claims that Democrats have committed electoral fraud to let Biden win. He has unsuccessfully challenged the election result legally, including in the Supreme Court.
The president’s last hope is the joint session of the Congress on Wednesday convened to certify and confirm Biden as the new president and pave the way for his inauguration on Jan.20.
At least 12 Senators and more than 100 legislators have vowed to oppose the ratification of Biden.
However, it is unlikely to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s victory given the Democrats’ majority in the lower house and that 12 senators are not enough to hinder the process. EFE-EPA