President Donald Trump’s lawyer Kurt Hilbert expressed his legal team’s discontent regarding the release of a recording of Trump’s discussion with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about two pending lawsuits from Trump.
“We are disappointed that the secretary of state and his staff secretly recorded and released a confidential settlement discussion to settle the two pending lawsuits,” Kurt Hilbert told Fox News on Monday.
“While they may think that behavior is appropriate, we do not,” Hilbert said. “Consequently, we will not be commenting on settlement discussions.”
An audio recording obtained by The Washington Post has been quoted out of context, with the implication made that the president appeared to be abusing his power, as Democrat Vice President Candidate Kamala Harris suggested in a video today. Harris said it was a “bold abuse of power.”
However, a full transcript of the call shows that before Trump said he only needed the secretary of state to “find” him 11,000 votes, he listed the following fraud allegations:
“We have at least two or three—anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures—a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County—you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged,” the president said.
He continued, “We had, I believe it’s about 4,502 voters who voted but who weren’t on the voter registration list, so it’s 4,502 who voted, but they weren’t on the voter registration roll, which they had to be. You had 18,325 vacant address voters. The address was vacant, and they’re not allowed to be counted. That’s 18,325.”
“You had out-of-state voters. They voted in Georgia but they were from out of state, of 4,925. You had absentee ballots sent to vacant, they were absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses. They had nothing on them about addresses, that’s 2,326.”
David Shafer, chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia, said on Twitter after the call was released that Trump had organized the call because he is currently looking to settle two pending lawsuits against Raffensperger.
“President [Trump] has filed two lawsuits—federal and state—against [Raffensperger]. The telephone conference call @GaSecofState secretly recorded was a ‘confidential settlement discussion’ of that litigation, which is still pending,” wrote Shafer.
Trump also took to Twitter to say that he had called Raffensperger about Fulton County’s alleged election fraud situation.
“He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!” wrote Trump.
I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the “ballots under table” scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
Raffensperger then responded to the president’s post, saying that Trump’s claims are false.
“Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out,” wrote the Georgia Secretary of State.
Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
According to the state’s contested certified results, Biden won the state with a razors-edge lead of just 11,779 votes—0.24 percent of almost 5 million.