Trump Pressured Michigan Officials Not To Certify Biden's 2020 Win: Report
Donald Trump urged two Michigan election officials not to certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the state following the 2020 presidential election, personally calling them in a pressure campaign reminiscent of his Georgia tactics.
Donald Trump urged two Michigan election officials not to certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the state following the 2020 presidential election, personally calling them in a pressure campaign reminiscent of his Georgia tactics, the Detroit News reported.
In a Nov. 17, 2020, phone call, the then-president told two fellow Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers not to sign the state election's certification, saying they would look "terrible" and must "fight for our country," according to recordings of the call reviewed by the Michigan news outlet.
Wayne County is the Midwestern state's most populous county and includes Detroit, a Democratic city with a significant Black majority population. In the audio, Trump says Republicans were "cheated on this election" and "everybody knows Detroit is crooked as hell," according to the report published on Thursday.
News of the recording comes as Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican 2024 nomination, faces federal and state criminal charges over allegations he conspired to overturn the 2020 presidential election in an effort that culminated in a violent attack on Congress.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and blasted the charges as a political witch hunt aimed at thwarting his campaign while also continuing to spread false claims of widespread voting fraud in 2020.
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung, asked about the Michigan report, said, "Trump's actions were taken in furtherance of his duty as President of the United States to faithfully take care of the laws and ensure election integrity, including investigating the rigged and stolen 2020 Presidential Election."
In Georgia, Trump faces charges over his efforts to overturn his loss to Biden, including a personal phone call to Georgia's Republican secretary of state to "find" enough votes to reverse his defeat in that state, which the official declined to do.
Michigan authorities have filed felony charges against 16 Republican state residents for their role in an alleged false electors scheme following the 2020 presidential election. They have not charged Trump.
"My office will continue to support the efforts of state and federal law enforcement to investigate and hold those involved accountable for every crime committed in the attempt to overturn the will of Michigan voters," Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement, adding that she had been unaware of the recordings until Thursday's report.
"We must recognize the direct line between these recordings and the tragedy that occurred at our U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021," Benson added, referring to Trump supporters' attack as lawmakers met to certify Biden's 2020 election win.
A representatives for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, like Benson a Democrat, did not respond to a request for comment.
Representatives for Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who was reported to have been on the Michigan call, also did not respond to a request for comment.
McDaniel told the Detroit News she stood by her request to the county board "that there was ample evidence that warranted an audit." Both McDaniel and Trump offered to get lawyers for the board members, the report added.