FBI asked to investigate after Trump pleads for extra votes in Georgia

Two Democratic members of Congress have asked the FBI to open an “immediate criminal investigation” after Donald Trump was heard pleading with an election official to “find” him some more votes in Georgia.

Representatives Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice have written to FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying they “believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes”.

In a recording obtained by American media, the outgoing US president can be heard claiming there was “no way” he lost in the southern state.

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Harris accuses Trump of ‘abuse of power’

During the hour-long call, Mr Trump asks for 11,780 votes – one more than he lost by in Georgia – to somehow be discovered.

Mr Lieu and Ms Rice cite a number of legal codes they claim Mr Trump may be in violation of.

One of them describes someone attempting to “deprive or defraud the residents of a state of a fair and impartially conducted election process”.

The pair tell Mr Wray: “The evidence of election fraud by Mr Trump is now in broad daylight. The prima facie elements of the above crimes have been met.”

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The man Mr Trump spoke to on Saturday, Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, said he was reluctant to take the call.

“I never believed it was appropriate to speak to the president but he pushed out. I guess he had his staff push us – they wanted a call,” Mr Raffensperger told ABC News on Monday.

“He (Mr Trump) did most of the talking, we did most of the listening,” Mr Raffensperger, a Republican, added.

Extraordinary audio recording reveals worrying insight into Trump's state of mind

Extraordinary audio recording reveals worrying insight into Trump’s state of mind

“The data he has is just plain wrong. He had hundreds and hundreds of people he said that were dead that voted. We found two. That’s an example of just his bad data.”

During the call, Mr Trump could be heard mentioning a series of discredited conspiracy theories.

The president even suggested Mr Raffensperger could be held criminally liable if he refused to find that thousands of ballots had been illegally destroyed in Fulton County.

There is no evidence to support Mr Trump’s claims of “shredded ballots” in the county.

Brad Raffensperger, who is the secretary of state for Georgia
Image:Brad Raffensperger says the president’s data is ‘just plain wrong’

In another development, senator Tom Cotton has refused to join a campaign started by almost a dozen other Republicans in the Senate to challenge Joe Biden’s victory.

Senator Cotton said such a move was outside Congress’s power and would “establish unwise precedents”.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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