The Washington Post has obtained a tape recording of a one hour phone call between President Trump and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s top election official where Trump tells the official to find enough votes to hand the state’s 16 electoral votes to him. Trump can be heard on the tape saying “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.” The Post says Trump also suggested Raffensperger could face criminal charges if he failed to do what Trump wanted. Raffensperger refused the President’s demands.
Meanwhile Vice President Mike Pence is signalling that he will take part in a challenge on Wednesday to the certification of the November vote by congress. 11 Republican senators and senators-elect said that they would vote to reject President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory when the House and the Senate meet to formally certify it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had urged his members not to take part in the election challenge and the fact that 11 senators are disregarding his advice suggests they fear the displeasure of their leader less than that of Trump. More than half of the Republican caucus in the house of Representatives have also vowed to challenge the election. Neither challenge is expected to change the outcome of what in the past has been a largely ceremonial affair in elections past.
The certification vote will take place one day after the Georgia runoff elections to decide two senate seats, and determine who controls the Senate during the Biden presidency. The latest polling shows the two Democratic candidates holding slight leads but well within the margin of error. Trump and Biden will both campaign in Georgia on the eve of the election.