56 votes

‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor

13 comments

  1. [6]
    seizethegoddamngap
    Link
    If you have the patience, here is the full hour-long phonecall.

    If you have the patience, here is the full hour-long phonecall.

    16 votes
    1. [3]
      psi
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I read the full transcript (who wants to hear Trump whine for a full hour?). My top line summary: Trump 100% believes in these baseless conspiracies. He legitimately thinks he won Georgia by...

      I read the full transcript (who wants to hear Trump whine for a full hour?). My top line summary: Trump 100% believes in these baseless conspiracies. He legitimately thinks he won Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes. Hell, according to the call, he thinks either he(?) or Republicans(?) (his meandering ramblings aren't always coherent, to put in mildly) won every state, including all the statehouses (not true), the Senate (don't let us down Georgia), and the House (which is only true if you redefine the word "won").

      Consider the most damning part of this phone call (emphasis added).

      Trump: That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. 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.

      By this point in the call, Trump's particular claims of fraud (shredding ballots, moving machinery) had been refuted multiple times. But Trump just keeps spewing these lies anyway.

      Some lawyers believe that Trump may have violated Georgia and federal law by pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to "find votes" in his favor. Ironically, I think Trump's complete and total delusion actually works in his favor here: a prosecutor would have a hard time proving corrupt attempt when Trump is 100% convinced he's right.

      The most worrying part of the phone call, in my opinion, occurred near the end. The Trump team kept asking for the data the Georgia Secretary of State used to verify voter identities. The Secretary of State rejected this request multiple times, as they believed it would be illegal to share under Georgia law. Eventually the Trump team asked whether it would be possible to "deputize" the Trump lawyers so that they could comb through the data too. Fortunately the Georgia Secretary of State also rejected that offer; but the idea of a candidate working with states to "find votes" is chilling, and the eagerness of Trump team even more so.

      But regardless of how fruitful a criminal charge would be, I fully believe this to be conduct worthy of Impeachment. The Founders conservatives pretend to reverie so much roll in their graves as this theater plays out. Trump continues to delegitimize our democracy every passing day. And frankly, Impeachment isn't enough. He needs to be disbarred from ever holding federal office ever again.

      Also he's a goddamn moron.

      Trump: It’s not a settlement agreement, it’s a consent decree. It even says consent decree on it, doesn’t it? It uses the term consent decree. It doesn’t say settlement agreement. It’s a consent decree. It’s a disaster.

      Raffensperger: It’s a settlement agreement.

      17 votes
      1. [2]
        psi
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        My favorite legal podcast, Opening Arguments, finally covered the Georgia phone call1. They made a clever argument that I hadn't considered, which actually makes the phone call even more damning...

        My favorite legal podcast, Opening Arguments, finally covered the Georgia phone call1. They made a clever argument that I hadn't considered, which actually makes the phone call even more damning for Trump.

        Essentially, the GA statute2 doesn't just apply to attempts to overturn the election results; it more generally applies to attempts to change the tally (eg, it would be illegal for Biden to demand the Georgia secretary of state widen Biden's lead by 1 million votes, even though that wouldn't change the outcome of the election).

        Now consider the phone call.

        1. Trump claimed he won Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes (as he proclaimed many times throughout the call).
        2. However, Trump didn't request that the tally be changed by hundreds of thousands of votes; instead, he requested that the tally be changed by ~12,000 votes.

        But that's a number that Trump didn't believe correctly reflected the actual margins, thus fulfilling the second requirement in proving that he violated Georgia law (intent). Ironically, Trump's attempt to compromise may have actually put him in greater legal jeopardy3.


        1 I'll have to post the link later (Patreon supporters have early access). Here ya go.
        2 Relevant Georgia law: 1 2 3
        3 Is this what Trump means by the "art of the deal"?

        12 votes
        1. etiolation
          Link Parent
          This inspired a chuckle of satisfaction. It would delight me to no end if his m.o. of retreating to the position that he's not clever enough to be deceitful (he really believes these fantastic...

          This inspired a chuckle of satisfaction. It would delight me to no end if his m.o. of retreating to the position that he's not clever enough to be deceitful (he really believes these fantastic claims) undoes him here.

          4 votes
    2. nacho
      Link Parent
      If you don't have the patience or time, I still recommend listening to the first like 5 minutes. I think everyone should experience first hand what the world's most powerful person for four years...

      If you don't have the patience or time, I still recommend listening to the first like 5 minutes.

      I think everyone should experience first hand what the world's most powerful person for four years genuinely thinks now months after losing an election by a landslide.

      Hundreds of thousands of fake votes? 50,000 people being turned away at the ballot box in Georgia alone because someone has already cast their vote?

      I think listening to first hand evidence is imperative for anyone who is trying to understand how the US functions on a federal level. It's harrowing, but necessary.

      11 votes
  2. streblo
    Link
    Crazy that Trump's mindset still seems firmly planted in denial with no signs of adapting to states' certifications or the electoral college vote. This recording sounds like it was from November...

    Crazy that Trump's mindset still seems firmly planted in denial with no signs of adapting to states' certifications or the electoral college vote. This recording sounds like it was from November 9th. Anyways this definitely increases the likelihood of:

    a) the Democrats have the political capital/fortitude to go after Trump legally and thus
    b) Trump self-pardons himself

    It will be more interesting IMO to see how this is handled by the GOP. The danger of an authoritarian/democratic split within the Republican party (beyond the existential threat to American democracy) is that unlike the split between moderate and progressive Dems it's on a separate axis than left-right. While a left-right split is naturally bounded by the other party and electoral irrelevancy there is no such barrier to the oil/water type scenario that is an anti-democratic/democratic split.

    10 votes
  3. [2]
    Ellimist
    Link
    The hypocrisy of the Republican Party knows no end does it? If this was Obama or Clinton or any Democrat, they’d already have charges drawn up.

    The hypocrisy of the Republican Party knows no end does it?

    If this was Obama or Clinton or any Democrat, they’d already have charges drawn up.

    9 votes
  4. teaearlgraycold
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm sure this will cause a few Republicans to be "deeply concerned" as they are forced to acknowledge that party members are allowed to break any law without repercussions.

    I'm sure this will cause a few Republicans to be "deeply concerned" as they are forced to acknowledge that party members are allowed to break any law without repercussions.

    7 votes
  5. Good_Apollo
    Link
    After McConnell’s blocking of the bipartisan stimulus and Trump’s post-election loss behavior...it’s been refreshing to see at least some conservatives begin to reflect on their choices.

    After McConnell’s blocking of the bipartisan stimulus and Trump’s post-election loss behavior...it’s been refreshing to see at least some conservatives begin to reflect on their choices.

    7 votes
  6. SantalBlush
    Link
    This gives us an even better understanding of the conversation between Trump and Zelenskyy. Thank god the Democrats took the risk and impeached him; this vindicates them beyond belief.

    This gives us an even better understanding of the conversation between Trump and Zelenskyy. Thank god the Democrats took the risk and impeached him; this vindicates them beyond belief.

    6 votes
  7. Parameter
    Link
    I decided to get a subscription after listening to the call for a minute. I saw a fantastic profile of different newsletters? that were either important, good for me, or just interesting. I'm...

    I decided to get a subscription after listening to the call for a minute. I saw a fantastic profile of different newsletters? that were either important, good for me, or just interesting. I'm excited to see what's there but as well to be able to rely on competent people to keep me informed in a broader sense.

    I can only hope that the institution is willing to protect the asset of a deeply informed readership at a cost to business objectives and other inconveniences when possible.

    5 votes