Politics

5 times Trump’s phone calls landed him in hot water


“Find” the votes

Perhaps most notoriously,
in a Jan. 2, 2021 phone call

, Trump pressured Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to help him find the votes necessary to overturn the 2020 statewide election results. In a bombshell release of the phone call recording, Trump told Raffensperger, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.” The phone call sparked Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation that resulted in sweeping criminal charges leveled against Trump and his associates.

A second Georgia call

Trump also
made a call

in December 2020 to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston attempting to coerce the then-speaker to call a special legislative session to overturn Biden’s victory in the state. According to the foreperson of the Fulton County special grand jury that heard a recording of the 10-minute phone call, Trump asked Ralston who could stop him from calling a special session, to which Ralston responded: “A federal judge, that’s who.”

“Full attack mode”

As part of the Trump team’s broader actions to overturn the 2020 election, the former president and his allies made
a direct call

to Nevada GOP leader Michael McDonald, who ultimately acted as a fake elector for the state. McDonald subsequently described the Nov. 4, 2020 conference call between himself, the former president, then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Eric Trump, saying: “They want full attack mode.” McDonald and five other people this week pleaded not guilty to felony charges relating to the alleged false-elector scheme.

Ukraine

Trump was impeached in January 2020 following allegations he withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including his eventual successor, Joe Biden. Trump has repeatedly claimed that
a phone call

to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he infamously asked for a “favor,” was “perfect.” The aid was eventually provided, and Trump was acquitted, but not before a crisis that rattled two continents and the halls of Congress.

Mar-a-Lago

After the FBI seized dozens of boxes containing classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, the former president
personally called

a former employee at the estate who was serving as a witness for special counsel Jack Smith’s federal indictment. According to the witness — who had personally moved boxes of documents and had heard possibly incriminating conversations between Trump and his two co-defendants — Trump’s call was one of a series of attempts at contact made by his team that piqued Smith’s investigative interest.



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