By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
According to newly revealed audio recordings, former President Donald Trump personally pressured two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan not to certify the 2020 presidential election results.
The recordings, obtained and reported by The Detroit News, show Trump urging two canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, not to sign the certification documents and suggesting they would look “terrible” if they did. Trump also told them, “We’ve got to fight for our country,” and vowed to provide them with attorneys. The revelation of Trump’s direct involvement in attempting to undermine Biden’s win in Michigan comes as he faces more than 90 criminal charges related to the 2020 election.
The Nov. 17, 2020, phone call, which also involved Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, urged canvassers to do whatever it took to keep Trump in office.
“We’ve got to fight for our country,” said Trump on the recordings, which the newspaper said were made by a person present for the call with Palmer and Hartmann. “We can’t let these people take our country away from us.”
McDaniel, a Michigan native and the leader of the Republican Party nationally, said at another point in the call, “If you can go home tonight, do not sign it. … We will get you attorneys.” To which Trump added, “We’ll take care of that.”
Palmer and Hartmann left the canvassers meeting without signing the official statement of votes for Wayne County, and the following day, they unsuccessfully attempted to rescind their votes in favor of certification, filing legal affidavits claiming they were pressured. The moves from Palmer, Hartmann, and Trump, had they been successful, threatened to throw the statewide certification of Michigan’s 2020 election into doubt.
The newspaper noted that the revelation of the contents of the call with the twice-impeached and four-times indicted former president comes as he faces four counts of criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States and its voters of the rightful outcome of the election. Efforts to prevent certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in Michigan are integral to the indictment.
Jonathan Kinloch, a former Democratic member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in November 2020, said what happened on the call with Trump was “insane.”
“It’s just shocking that the president of the United States was at the most minute level trying to stop the election process from happening,” Kinloch said.
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