Former President Donald Trump pushed Georgia‘s lead elections investigator to find the “right answer” as he continued to promote conspiracies about the use of absentee ballots in the state, which Joe Biden, then the president-elect, ultimately won.
“When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised,” Trump told Frances Watson, chief investigator for the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, according to an audio recording of a December 23 call that was released this week. He further insisted that the state had “dropped all these ballots” and that “something bad happened.”
Recounts and an election audit found no evidence of wrongdoing and Georgia’s officials have stated time and again that the election was both free and fair.
Trump has often claimed without evidence that Georgia election officials are unable to verify signatures on absentee ballots as part of his push to cast doubt on the legitimacy of an election that he lost.
His claim is incorrect. The Associated Press already conducted a fact check that showed “There is nothing in the consent decree that prevents Georgia election clerks from scrutinizing signatures.”
“The legal settlement signed in March addresses accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes,” the AP continues, noting that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has said that verifying signatures is both possible and required by the state.
In December, the Republican Party’s attempt to have courts reject absentee ballots in the state of Georgia failed after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a lawsuit to change “how election officials check absentee ballot signatures,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Trump is currently under investigation in regard to a phone call he had with Secretary of State Raffensperger.
During his phone call with Raffensperger, Trump ignored any argument that went against his insistence that he won an election that had already been decided for Joe Biden.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” Trump said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.” Raffensperger told him.
Later, Trump said, “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.”