Former defense secretaries release letter saying election is over

Donald Trump demands Georgia officials 'find' votes to tilt election in leaked call

Today Trump stages one of his big, boisterous rallies in Georgia to campaign for two Republican candidates in a fiercely-fought pair of run-off elections that will determine the balance of power in the Senate. Raffensperger ultimately ended the conversation, thanking Trump for his time.

"There are many many infractions and the bottom line is it's many many times the 11,779 margin that they said we lost by", Mr. Trump said at one point.

But instead, Sunday's release of Trump's stunning conversation with Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, only succeeded in diverting attention from the Senate races, a must-win for his party.

"Not only is pressuring election officials against the law, threatening Raffensperger if he doesn't comply with Trump's wishes borders on extortion", said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Acquaintances of Raffensperger in the state House described him as a "straight shooter" who backed traditional Republican priorities, supporting a bill to cut regulations on small businesses, for example, and voting against a tax on gasoline, according to a profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, said in a statement on Sunday that Cruz' insistence on a vote audit commission had "zero chance" of success. Kelly Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock.

"It's more illegal for you than it is for them because you know what they did and you're not reporting it - that's the - you know, that's a criminal, that's a criminal offense".

"Trump's twitter account has gone silent since Brad Raffensperger leaked the #TrumpTapes Some play checkers and some play chess". Then-Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, backed Ohio Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones' objection to the electoral votes in Ohio, the deciding state in George W. Bush's election victory over Democrat John Kerry. In the recording, Trump can be heard saying, "The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry".

Democrats and a few Republicans condemned Trump's actions, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP House leadership team who deemed the call "deeply troubling". They are zeroing in on the states where Trump has raised unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Democrats already control the House.

To their shame, almost a dozen Republican senators and senators-elect and more than 100 House Republicans say they are going to challenge the vote certification. "You know, that's a criminal - that's a criminal offense".

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said, "The scheme by members of Congress to reject the certification of the presidential election makes a mockery of our system and who we are as Americans".

Various election officials across the country and Trump's former attorney general, William Barr, have said there was no widespread fraud in the election.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the latest challenge from Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and a group of Arizona electors, who filed suit to try to force Pence to step outside mere ceremony and shape the outcome of the vote.

Dozens of state and federal court decisions have rejected efforts by Mr. Trump and his allies to overturn the November 3 election results. They said they aren't trying to "thwart the democratic process" but to restore Americans' faith in it. I don't even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate election. Hawley is also said to be positioning himself for a 2024 run - and so is Pence.

Thousands of those whom the president referred to when he spoke of angry people are expected in Washington DC this Wednesday, as Congress conducts what is typically a proforma certification of the election.

All 10 living former defense secretaries warned in an op-ed on Sunday against involving the military in election disputes and urged leaders at the Defense Department to facilitate a smooth transition with the incoming administration. "He's our president and we're going to keep making sure that this is a fair election".

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