Former President Donald Trump insisted his controversial January 2021 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was “perfect” and baselessly called the 2020 presidential election “stolen and rigged” in a series of Truth Social posts on Tuesday, ahead of a court hearing to determine if a special grand jury’s report detailing whether Trump and his allies unlawfully interfered in the 2020 election should be made public.
Repeating a frequent claim, Trump said his January 2021 call with Raffensperger—in which Trump urged him to “find” enough votes to make him the winner in Georgia—was a “PERFECT call protesting the Rigged Georgia Election,” he wrote.
Trump also made the unfounded claim that Georgia election officials “cheated in many ways including STUFFING Ballots, ALL CAUGHT LIVE ON TAPE,” he wrote Tuesday.
The defensive posts come as Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney is set to hold a hearing Tuesday to decide if an Atlanta-area grand jury’s report should be released, following a months-long investigation into Trump’s attempts to reverse President Joe Biden’s win in Georgia.
Trump’s attorneys told NBC News they “will not be present nor participating” in the hearing, but did not contest the report’s release. “We can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump,” they said.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis commissioned the special grand jury last year as part of a criminal probe into whether Trump and his allies broke any laws when they attempted to meddle in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Willis opened the probe after a recording surfaced of Trump’s January 2021 call with Raffensperger in which he can be heard telling the secretary of state to “find 11,780” votes, which was the number he needed to win the state. The special grand jury has the ability to issue subpoenas and recommendations for criminal charges, but cannot criminally indict people on its own. Jurors heard testimony from Trump allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, along with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Raffensperger, who drew Trump’s ire by refusing to overturn the 2020 election results..
What To Watch For
Whether Willis decides to present evidence to a regular grand jury for indictments against Trump or his allies. Potential charges include conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation, intentional interference with performance of election duties or violations of state racketeering laws, a group of attorneys argued in a Brookings Institution paper.
Trump’s social media rant came days after his team petitioned Facebook to reinstate his account as he prepares to hit the campaign trail for his third presidential run. Following the January 6 Capitol riots, Trump was indefinitely suspended from Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram after he repeatedly used his social media pages to deny the results of the 2020 presidential election and make false claims that the election was “stolen” as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Facebook said it would review the ban after two years, on January 7, 2023.