President TrumpDonald TrumpMcConnell circulates procedures for second Senate impeachment trial of Trump Trump suggests building own platform after Twitter ban Poll: 18 percent of Republicans support Capitol riots MORE made a “lengthy” phone call to an elections investigator in Georgia in December asking him to “find” voter fraud, an individual familiar with the call told The Washington Post.
The individual told the newspaper that the president asked the unnamed investigator to “find the fraud,” adding that the official would be a “national hero.”
The call was reportedly placed shortly before Christmas, while the investigator was looking into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County — a county President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenUS judge blocks Trump administration’s restrictions on asylum eligibility McConnell circulates procedures for second Senate impeachment trial of Trump Top Trump official rescinds then reissues resignation letter to say departure is in protest MORE won. The investigator was looking into now-disputed allegations that county elections officials improperly accepted mail ballots with signatures that did don’t match those on file.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) confirmed to the Post that Trump called on Dec. 23 but said he was unfamiliar with the contents of the discussion. He told the newspaper that it was inappropriate for Trump to attempt to intervene.
“That was an ongoing investigation,” Raffensperger told the Post. “I don’t believe that an elected official should be involved in that process.”
CNN also confirmed that the president asked the investigator to “find the fraud,” citing a source familiar with the matter.
Neither the White House nor Raffensperger’s office immediately responded to requests for comment from The Hill.
The call to the investigator came before the one-hour phone call Trump had with Raffensperger on Jan. 2, in which the president urged the secretary of state to “find” more than 11,000 ballots to flip the Peach State’s election result.
The Post released excerpts of the call earlier this month.
Biden won the state of Georgia in November by more than 11,000 votes — the first time a Democrat has won in the reliably red state since 1992, when former President Clinton clinched a victory there.
“All I want to do is this,” the president said in part. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Trump previously called Gov. Brian KempBrian KempLoeffler concedes to Warnock Shellshocked GOP ponders future with Trump Trump’s political career is over MORE (R) to pressure him to call a special session of the state’s legislature to appoint a new set of electors for Trump.
Despite the repeated efforts by the president and his campaign to overturn his election defeat, Trump acknowledged the end of his presidency on Thursday after Congress certified the Electoral College vote.
The president, in a video posted to social media, said that he was committed to a peaceful transition of power following the violent riots started by a mob of his supporters that roiled the Capitol on Wednesday.