Former President Donald Trump was recorded in a phone call pressuring election workers in Michigan not to certify the election results, according to a recent report by The Detroit News.
The call, dated November 17, 2020, involved Trump, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann.
Wayne County, Michigan’s largest county that includes Detroit, was crucial in the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden.
During the call, Trump warned the canvassers that they would look “terrible” if they certified the election after previously voting against certification, as reported by The Detroit News.
“We’ve got to fight for our country,” Trump asserted, emphasizing the need to prevent others from taking control of the nation.
McDaniel discouraged Palmer and Hartmann from signing the certification document, assuring them, “We will get you attorneys,” according to The Detroit News.
Trump’s office and the RNC did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.
Monica Palmer, one of the canvassers, stated to The Detroit News that she could not recall the specifics of the call. William Hartmann, the other canvasser, passed away in 2021.
A spokesperson for Trump, Steven Cheung, defended the former president’s actions, stating they were in line with his duty to ensure election integrity.
Ronna McDaniel mentioned in a statement to The Detroit News that she had called for an audit of the election in Michigan, citing ample evidence that warranted further investigation.
Initially, Palmer and Hartmann voted against certifying the election but later changed their votes in favor during the same meeting. They did not sign the certification statement, attempting to retract their approval the following day.
The Michigan Bureau of Elections determined that Palmer and Hartmann’s signatures were unnecessary for advancing the election certification, as per Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.
The reported call draws parallels to Trump’s infamous conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where he pressured Raffensperger to “find” additional votes.
Trump defended both calls, asserting their appropriateness. The Georgia call played a role in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s investigation into efforts to overturn the election, resulting in charges against Trump and 18 co-defendants for an alleged plot to subvert the 2020 election.