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Trump threatens ‘criminal consequences’ against official for not finding votes to overturn election results

Audio tapes of President Donald Trump telling Georgia’s top election official to “find” enough votes to overturn the election result.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Mr Trump told Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a recording released by the Washington Post.

Mr Raffensperger is heard replying that Georgia’s results are correct.




Mr Trump over the call insisted that he had won the election in Georgia and told Mr Raffensperger that there was “nothing wrong with saying you have recalculated”.

Mr Raffensperger responded by saying: “The challenge you have, Mr President, is that the data you have is wrong.”

Later in the call, Mr Trump said the rumour was that ballots had been shredded and voting machinery had been removed from Fulton County in the state – claims denied by Mr Raffensperger’s lawyer.



The president then threatened the official with possible legal consequences.

“You know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal offence. You can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer,” Mr Trump said.

“You can re-examine it, but re-examine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers,” he said.

“Mr President, you have people who submit information and we have our people that submit information, and then it comes before the court and the court has to make a determination,” Mr Raffensperger replied. “We have to stand by our numbers, we believe our numbers are right.”

Joe Biden won Georgia alongside other swing states, winning 306 electoral college votes to Mr Trump’s 232.

Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris called Mr Trump’s comments “a bold abuse of power”.

It comes ahead of two crucial runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday that will decide which party controls the Senate.

If the two Democratic contenders win, then there will be equal numbers of Republican and Democratic senators, and Kamala Harris, as vice-president-elect, will have the deciding vote.




Mr Biden’s Democrats already control the lower House of Representatives.

Since the 3 November vote, Mr Trump has been making unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud.

All 50 states have certified the election result, some after recounts and legal appeals.

Congress is due to formally approve the election result on 6 January and Mr Biden, a Democrat, is due to be inaugurated as president on 20 January.

All 10 living former US defence secretaries have urged President Trump not to question the election results in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. The group also said he should not involve the military in voting disputes, an idea that’s been mooted by some of Mr Trump’s supporters.