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Detroit News: Trump recorded pressuring Michigan canvassers not to certify 2020 vote


By Marshall Cohen, CNN

(CNN) — The Detroit News reviewed a recording of a call former President Donald Trump made to two Michigan county officials in 2020, urging them not to certify the election results from Detroit.

The call was previously known and reported by CNN – and condemned at the time by election experts and Michigan Democrats, who said it was a stunning attempt by a sitting president to pressure local officials to interfere with an election.

For the first time, we are learning exactly what Trump said, according to the Detroit News. CNN has not independently obtained or verified the recording.

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who was also on the call told the officials, regarding the certification: “Do not sign it. … We will get you attorneys.”

Then, Trump added, “We’ll take care of that.”

The GOP officials from the Wayne County Board of Canvassars, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, did later try to rescind their votes to certify the results. But it was too late. The Michigan state canvassing board later certified the results as well, despite public pressure from Trump and other Republicans.

The new revelations from Michigan fit a broader and well-established pattern of Trump trying to pressure state officials to interfere with the 2020 election results. He was infamously caught on tape cajoling the Georgia secretary of state to “find” enough ballots to flip the results, and he also placed calls to top officials in Arizona.

Based on these and other actions by Trump, special counsel Jack Smith charged him with four felonies, and he is currently scheduled to go to trial in March. The sweeping federal indictment references Trump’s “use of deceit to get state officials to subvert the legitimate election results,” though it doesn’t specifically reference the Wayne County incident.

It’s unclear if Smith was aware of, or has already obtained, the Michigan recording.

In response to the Detroit News’ reporting on the recording, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement that “all of President 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.”

McDaniel said in a statement Thursday, “What I said publicly and repeatedly at the time, as referenced in my letter on Nov. 21, 2020, is that there was ample evidence that warranted an audit.”

CNN is currently attempting to reach Palmer for comment on the recording. Hartmann died in late 2021.

According to the Detroit News, Trump also told the officials on the call that Republicans had been “cheated on this election” and “everybody knows Detroit is crooked as hell,” according to the Detroit News. He asked, “How can anybody sign” the election certification “when you have more votes than people,” referring to his false claim that large numbers of dead people voted in Michigan.

The former president has often claimed that there were “more votes than people” in Wayne County, Michigan’s largest county and home to Detroit, which is false — 878,102 people voted for president in Wayne County, which had a population of over 1.7 million, according to the US Census Bureau.

“We’ve got to fight for our country,” Trump said on the call. “We can’t let these people take our country away from us.”

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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