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Tape of Trump and Georgia officials ‘was found in trash of investigator’s laptop’

Leaked audio indicates former president pressured the investigator to find proof of election fraud

Stuti Mishra
Monday 15 March 2021 14:00 GMT
Related video: Trump pressures Georgia’s election chief to ‘find’ enough votes for him to win the state
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The leaked audio call between Donald Trump and the Georgia election investigator, in which he is being heard pressuring her to find proof of poll fraud, was allegedly recovered from the trash folder of her device, a recent report has found.

The six-minute recording of a phone call between the former president and investigator Frances Watson that took place on 23 December, was published by the Wall Street Journal last week. Earlier, the Washington Post also reported on the substance of the calls. 

In the recording, Mr Trump can be heard telling the investigator to find proof of election fraud in Georgia before “the very important date," referring to the 20 January inauguration of president Joe Biden.

Now, CNN has cited a Georgia official as saying that the recording of the audio was located in the trash folder of Ms Watson’s device.

It was also reported that officials in Georgia earlier claimed the recording of the call didn’t exist. The leaked audio is more proof of the former president’s extraordinary attempts to convince officials to help him find evidence for his baseless claims of voter fraud.

Mr Trump, who filed over 50 lawsuits and repeatedly claimed the elections were unfair, told Ms Watson to find “the right answer” and that she would be "praised" for overturning the results. 

Encouraging her to look for discrepancies in her signature check for absentee ballots, Mr Trump said: "But if you go back two years, and if you can get to Fulton, you are going to find things that are going to be unbelievable.”

"The dishonesty that we’ve heard from. But Fulton is the mother lode," the former president said.

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Mr Trump also told Ms Watson that he hoped "we" could win Georgia and that "you have the most important job in the country right now."

Later, in January, Mr Trump called and pressured the Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to find evidence of voter fraud. Audio of that call was also leaked.

There’s a criminal investigation ongoing in Mr Trump’s attempts to influence officials in an attempt to overturn election results. The state of Georgia is also conducting an independent probe into it.

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