Donald Trump put pressure on Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state, it has been reported in the US.
A recording of an hour-long call between Mr Trump and fellow Republican, Brad Raffensperger, was leaked to the Washington Post.
In the call Mr Trump pleaded with Mr Raffensperger to “find” the 11,779 votes which enabled Mr Biden to win the state.
“There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated,” Mr Trump is reported to have said.
Details of the call provided further evidence of the desperate attempts by the president and his allies to “win” an election he comprehensively lost.
It was the latest twist in the extraordinary aftermath of November’s presidential election.
Mr Trump’s intervention triggered calls for his prosecution for trying to tamper with the outcome of an election.
It came with US vice-president Mike Pence giving his backing to a dozen Republican senators who plan to object to the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election win when it comes before Congress on Wednesday.
Mr Pence, who will preside over what is normally a routine ceremonial occasion, issued a statement over the weekend saying he “shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election.”
One congressman, Louie Gohmert, the Republican congressman who asked a court to give Mike Pence the power to overturn Mr Biden’s victory, has called for Mr Trump’s supporters to take to the streets.
Despite Mr Pence’s intervention, the rebels lack the numbers on Capitol Hill to prevent Mr Biden’s victory being rubber-stamped.
Democrats already hold a majority in the House and could win control of the Senate – with the casting vote of vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris – if they win this week’s run-off elections in Georgia.
The attempt to block Mr Biden’s victory is a symbolic gesture which has exposed a schism in the Republican ranks between Trump loyalists and the party establishment, including senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who believe the election result should be honoured.
Pro-Trump hardliners dominate the party’s ranks in the House of Representatives with 140 of 196 members supporting the challenge.
Mr Pence and several of the senators who have endorsed the move to block confirmation of Mr Biden’s victory are seen as likely presidential candidates in 2024 including Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley of Missouri.
Mr Gohmert’s incendiary remarks reflect the febrile atmosphere in Washington since Mr Biden’s victory, with Mr Trump and his supporters continuing to claim that the election was stolen.
“Basically, in effect, the ruling would be you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM,(Black Lives Matter),” Mr Gohmert said on the conservative television station, Newsmax.
Lin Wood, an attorney behind several lawsuits challenging Mr Biden’s victory, suggested that Mike Pence should face “execution by firing squad” for refusing to overturn the election result.
His comments were disowned by Jenna Ellis, Mr Trump’s campaign lawyer.
Mr Cruz tried to lower the temperature when he appeared on Fox News on Sunday.
“I think we need to tone down the rhetoric. This is already a volatile situation. It’s like a tinder box and throwing lit matches into it.”
There are already fears that a massive pro-Trump protest in Washington DC planned to coincide with the meeting of
Congress to ratify the election could turn violent. The Proud Boys, the far-right group which was told by Mr Trump to “stand back and stand by
” in September, intends to turn up in force on Wednesday.
According to postings on the social media platform, they also plan to divide into “smaller teams” – suggesting that they will reprise tactics which have seen brawls erupt between the Proud Boys and left-wing counter-protesters.
Already the homes of Mr McConnell and Democratic house leader, Nancy Pelosi, have been vandalised over the refusal of Congress to pass legislation increasing coronavirus relief payments from $600 to $2,000.
The post Donald Trump pleaded with Georgia secretary of state to find votes to overturn Biden win appeared first on The Telegraph.