Trump repeats election fraud claims in Georgia rally for crucial Senate races
By Lucia Leal
Washington, Jan 5 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump turned a campaign rally for two critical Senate runoffs in Georgia into an act of defense as he reiterated his debunked claims of fraud in the Nov.3 presidential election and veiled threats on the peaceful transfer of power in the United States.
Both Trump and President-elect Joe Biden campaigned in Georgia for candidates of their parties hours before the Senate contest on Tuesday.
The battle, observers say, is going to be close for the two parties as they scramble to take control of the Senate for the next two years.
Georgia has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in the last two decades.
Biden made a strong plea, asking voters to use their power to change the situation in the country, Trump again aired his grievances over his loss to the Democrat in the presidential race.
He vented his conspiracy theories and unfounded accusations about alleged election rigging, aimed at invalidating millions of votes not cast for him.
“There is no way we lost Georgia, that was a rigged election,” Trump began his 90-minute speech with those words as he took the stage in the town of Dalton.
In the race to White House, Trump lost Georgia to Biden by a margin of fewer than 12,000 votes out of five million polled in a once Republican bastion.
The state, with 16 Electoral College votes, has now emerged as the premier battleground in the state.
It was likely Trump’s last rally as president in the key state before Biden takes power on Jan.20
The rally came a day widely published Trump’s taped call, in which he pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensperger to recount the ballot and “find” votes to support him and overturn Biden’s electoral victory.
The call was allegedly made on Saturday and leaked to the press on Monday.
Trump, in the bombshell telephonic conversation, is even warning Raffensperger that he was taking a “great risk” by not accepting his request.
Legal experts suggest that Trump may have violated federal and state laws and committed a possible criminal act with the alleged gross abuse of power.
Two Democratic Congressmen have sought an FBI probe into the alleged conversation in which Trump is heard threatening, flattering, and even rebuking Raffensperger for not heeding his request.
During his Georgia rally, Trump only referred to the leaked conversation, asserting that “everyone loved my phone call.”
The alleged audacious pressure campaign for subverting the election results in the call with the Georgia official has put virtually everyone in his party in an awkward position.
At least three Republican senators – Pat Toomey, Liz Cheney, and Martha Blackburn – have criticized Trump.
His pressure on Georgia’s electoral authorities has added fuel to the open war in the Republican Party, between those who support Trump in his accusations and those who have distanced themselves from his unfounded allegations.