WASHINGTON: Donald Trump pushed local officials not to certify 2020 election results in Michigan, according to audio recordings cited in a news report yesterday, new allegations against the former US president who already faces multiple charges of election interference.
The accusations come as Trump runs again for president and is poised to nab the Republican nomination in 2024 – despite both state and federal charges against him.
In phone call recordings revealed by The Detroit News outlet, Trump reportedly pressured two local officials not to sign the certification of vote results in their county.
He allegedly told the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers that “we’ve got to fight for our country” and that “we can’t let these people take our country away from us.”
The phone call came two weeks after the Nov 3 election, in which Trump lost the state of Michigan.
Also present on the call was Republican national committee chair Ronna McDaniel, a Michigan native, who at one point told the two, “If you can go home tonight, do not sign it…We will get you attorneys.”
Trump agreed, adding, “We’ll take care of that.”
About 18% of the northern state’s population lives in Wayne County and approximately 878,000 votes were cast there in the 2020 election, according to The Detroit News.
The 77-year-old Trump is to go on trial in Washington in March on federal charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the November 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden.
He faces similar charges in a separate case in the southern state of Georgia, where he famously pressured secretary of state Brad Raffensperger in a taped call to “find” 11,780 votes that would reverse his defeat to Biden in the state.
In the Michigan call, Trump told the two Republican members of the county board, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, that they would look “terrible” if they certified the election results – especially because they had initially voted against them before later voting to approve the results.
McDaniel said in a statement to The Detroit News that “What I said publicly and repeatedly at the time…is that there was ample evidence that warranted an audit.”
Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung meanwhile said that the former US president’s actions were part of his duty to “ensure election integrity, including investigating the rigged and stolen 2020 presidential election.”
Trump has repeatedly stated the false claim that the 2020 election was rigged for Biden.