President Donald Trump’s attorney defended his phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021, saying his client sought the “truth” when he asked about the state’s top election official to find 2020 votes.
Attorney John Lauro dismissed allegations that Trump had done anything wrong in his call to Mr. Raffensperger, which was part of the evidence for the 45th president’s second impeachment and subsequent exoneration.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Lauro said, “President Trump had every right to ask the Secretary of State: ‘I believe that this election was conducted improperly. There are deficiencies here.”
“I want to see if there are more than 10,000 votes, or whatever the number was, that were counted illegally.’ Once again, that’s core political speech,” Mr. Lauro said, according to The Epoch Times.
In an hourlong recorded call, Trump asked Mr. Raffensperger “to find 11,780 votes,” referring to the figure that is one more than the margin he lost by.
Media outlets then released a transcript of the call.
Trump said he won Georgia and asked the state election officials to probe election irregularities during the call.
But the Georgia Secretary of State countered Trump’s claims on the 2020 votes, saying his concerns were either inaccurate or untrue.
Lauro also rejected the idea that threatened Raffensperger.
“That wasn’t a threat at all. What he was asking for is for Raffensperger to get to the truth,” Mr. Lauro said.
“He believed that there were an excess of 10,000 votes that were counted illegally. And what he was asking for is the Secretary of State to act appropriately and find these votes that were counted illegally.”
“That was an aspirational ask. He is entitled to petition even state government.”
Earlier this month, Trump was indicted by a grand jury in Washington for conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct the certification of votes on Jan. 6, 2021, and conspiracy against citizens’ right to vote.
Trump is also facing 40 felony charges over his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his home following the investigation by Jack Smith.
Lauro claimed the Biden administration is leading a politically-motivated attack against his client.
“President [Joe] Biden has put in motion a political prosecution in the middle of an election season,” Mr. Lauro said.
“The Justice Department, the Biden Justice Department, is going after a former president for acts that he carried out in fulfillment of his oath as president of the United States.”