US president Donald Trump pressured an election official verifying absentee ballots in the state of Georgia to “find the fraud”, claiming that doing so would make them a national hero, sources say.
Insiders said the call was made in December as auditors in Georgia were verifying signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in one county in Atlanta following the November 2020 presidential election.
The December call to the lead investigator preceded Trump’s call on January 2 to Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, where he asked election officials to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state.
The call, first reported on Saturday by The Washington Post, occurred as election officials were conducting an audit in Cobb County.
The probe eventually identified only two minor issues out of more than 15,000 signatures reviewed.
Trump has for months made false claims about Georgia’s signature verification process and about the results of the November election, which he lost to Biden in Georgia by about 12,000 votes.
Various election officials across the country and Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have said there was no widespread fraud in the election.