By Beatriz Pascual Macías
Washington, Jan 3 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump has allegedly pressured the top election official in Georgia to manipulate the Nov.3 results in his favor and overturn Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state, according to an hour-long call telephonic conversation first published by the Washington Post on Sunday.
The alleged gross abuse of power and a possible criminal act of Trump threatening, flattering, and rebuking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is already drawing parallels with the Watergate scam.
It comes as at least 12 senators and one hundred Republican legislators plan to oppose the ratification of Biden’s victory during a Congress session on Jan 6.
The bombshell telephonic conversation obtained by The Washington Post and trending on social media networks as “#Georgiagate,” has caused a political earthquake in Washington even as the majority of the Republicans were silent.
According to the recorded call, Trump asks his fellow Republican, Raffensperger, to “find” the votes needed to annul Biden’s victory.
At one point in time during the conversation, Trump even warns him that he is taking a “great risk” by not accepting his request.
“There’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, having the correct — the people of Georgia are angry. And the people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump says in the conversation that lasted for about an hour.
In response, Raffensperger and his office reject Trump’s claim and tell him he is relying on unfounded theories and Biden’s nearly 12,000-vote election victory in Georgia is fair.
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. We talked to the congressmen, and they were surprised,” Raffensperger tells Trump.
The president during the telephonic call directly asks the secretary of state to manipulate the count and find enough votes for him to win the presidential election, vaguely threatening both Raffensperger and his general counsel Ryan Germany.
“And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal — it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know, what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen,” Trump says.
“That’s a big risk to you and Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen.
“You know, I mean, I am notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. 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.”
According to election results, Biden defeated Trump by 11,779 votes in Georgia, which contributes 16 votes to the US electoral college of electing the president.
In December, after counting the votes twice, the Georgia authorities certified Biden’s win, making him the first Democrat to win the state since Bill Clinton pocketed it in 1992.
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 won. 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.
The Republican support for Trump grew over the weekend. At least 12 Senators and more than 100 legislators have vowed to the ratification of Biden.