Records show pressure by Trump, allies on Arizona officials

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PHOENIX (AP) — Newly launched data present the highest Republicans in Arizona’s largest county dodged calls from Donald Trump and his allies within the aftermath of the 2020 election, because the then-president sought to forestall the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in key battleground states.

The data — together with voicemails and textual content messages — make clear one other state the place Trump, his attorneys and others mounted a behind-the-scenes strain marketing campaign on Republican officers overseeing elections. Days earlier than Congress licensed Biden’s win on Jan. 6, Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to seek out sufficient votes to overturn Biden’s win there.

Trump tried to succeed in Clint Hickman, then the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, on Jan. 3, shortly earlier than midnight in Washington and hours after information broke of Trump’s name with Raffensperger.

“Good day, sir. That is the White Home operator I used to be calling to let that the president’s obtainable to take your name if you happen to’re free,” the White Home operator stated in a voicemail. “If you happen to might please give us a name again, sir, that’d be nice. You’ve got a superb night.”

Hickman informed The Arizona Republic, which first obtained the data from Maricopa County, that he didn’t return the cellphone name. He stated he presumed Trump would attempt to strain him to vary election outcomes or focus on election conspiracies as he had achieved with Raffensperger.

“I’m not going to tape a president, so I’m not going to speak to a president. … I didn’t wish to have a really tough name to my house on a Sunday evening,” Hickman informed the Republic.

Hickman and the remainder of the Board of Supervisors, which is managed 4-1 by Republicans, have aggressively defended the vote depend in Maricopa County, which incorporates Phoenix and 60% of Arizona’s voters. They’ve maintained the result was not affected by fraud or irregularities.

State Senate Republicans used their subpoena energy to take management of all 2.1 million ballots and the machines that counted them. A agency led by a Trump supporter who has shared far-fetched conspiracy theories is overseeing an audit for the Senate GOP.

Probably the most aggressive strain got here from Arizona Republican Get together Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who tried to persuade Republicans on the board to query the election outcomes, even because the officers tried to instill confidence within the them. At one level, she texted Hickman, “We’d like you to cease the counting.”

She tried to persuade Hickman and Supervisors Steve Chucri and Invoice Gates to name Trump legal professional Sidney Powell, who filed lawsuits across the nation alleging the election conspiracies. The lawsuits have been all thrown out.

Early Nov. 20, when the board was scheduled to certify Maricopa County’s election outcomes, Ward texted Gates, “Can we discuss at the moment now that the lawsuit is over? There are such a lot of abnormalities that have to be adjudicated. I do know the Republican board doesn’t wish to be remembered because the entity who led the cost to certify a fraudulent election.”

After sending data alleging fraud — and shortly earlier than the board voted to just accept the election outcomes — she texted him, “Feels like your fellow Repubs are dropping out. Very unhappy. And unAmerican.”

She texted Chucri, “Appears you’re enjoying for the unsuitable crew and other people will bear in mind. WRONG crew.”

The data additionally embody voicemails from Trump legal professional Rudy Giuliani attempting to succeed in a number of of the GOP supervisors. Chucri met with Giuliani when he was in Phoenix to air Trump’s baseless fraud theories.

“If you happen to get an opportunity, would you please give me a name,” Giuliani stated in a message to Gates. “I’ve just a few issues I’d prefer to consult with you. Perhaps we are able to get this factor fastened up. You realize, I actually assume it’s a disgrace that Republicans form of are each in this sort of scenario. And I believe there could also be a pleasant option to resolve this for everyone.”

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