Newly released records show the top Republicans in Arizona's largest county dodged calls from Donald Trump and his allies after the 2020 election, as the then-president sought to prevent the certification of Joe Biden's victory in key battleground states. The records—including voicemails and texts—shed light on another state where Trump, his attorneys, and others mounted a behind-the-scenes pressure campaign on Republican officials overseeing elections. Days before Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6, Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to overturn Biden's win there. Trump tried to reach Clint Hickman, then the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, on Jan. 3, shortly before midnight in Washington and hours after news broke of Trump's call with Raffensperger, per the AP. Hickman told the Arizona Republic, which first received the records from Maricopa County, that he didn't return the phone call.
He said he presumed Trump would try to pressure him to change election results or discuss election conspiracies as he'd done with Raffensperger. "I'm not going to tape a president, so I'm not going to talk to a president," he said. The most aggressive pressure came from Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, who tried to convince Republicans on the board to question the election results. At one point, she texted Hickman, "We need you to stop the counting." Hickman and the rest of the board, controlled 4-1 by Republicans, have aggressively defended Maricopa County's vote count, maintaining the outcome was not affected by fraud or irregularities. State Senate Republicans used their subpoena power to take control of all 2.1 million ballots and the machines that counted them. A firm led by a Trump supporter who has shared far-fetched conspiracy theories is overseeing an audit for the Senate GOP. More here on other texts and calls, including from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
(Read more Donald Trump