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Arizona Republicans faced pressure from Trump and allies following election, records show | US news

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 stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in key battleground states.

The data from Maricopa county, first obtained by the Arizona Republic, 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 6 January, Trump pressed Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to seek out sufficient votes to overturn Biden’s win there.

Trump tried to achieve Clint Hickman, then the chairman of the Maricopa county board of supervisors, on 3 January, shortly earlier than midnight in Washington and hours after information broke of Trump’s name with Raffensperger, the data present.

“Hello, sir. This is the White House operator I was calling to let you know that the president’s available to take your call if you’re free,” the White House operator mentioned in a voicemail. “If you could please give us a call back, sir, that’d be great. You have a good evening.”

Hickman advised The Arizona Republic that he didn’t return the telephone name. He mentioned he presumed Trump would attempt to strain him to alter election outcomes or talk about election conspiracies as he had finished with Raffensperger.

“I’m not going to tape a president, so I’m not going to talk to a president. I didn’t want to have a very rough call to my home on a Sunday night,“ Hickman told the newspaper.

Hickman and the rest of the board of supervisors, which is controlled 4-1 by Republicans, have aggressively defended the vote count in Maricopa county, which includes Phoenix and 60% of Arizona’s voters. They have maintained 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.

The most aggressive pressure came from Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward, who tried to convince Republicans on the board to question the election results, even as the officials tried to instil confidence in them. At one point, she texted Hickman, “We need you to stop the counting.”

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

Early on 20 November, when the board was scheduled to certify Maricopa county’s election outcomes, Ward texted Gates, “Can we talk today now that the lawsuit is over? There are so many abnormalities that must be adjudicated. I know the Republican board doesn’t want to be remembered as the entity who led the charge to certify a fraudulent election.”

After sending info alleging fraud, and shortly earlier than the board voted to simply accept the election outcomes, she texted him, “Sounds like your fellow Repubs are throwing in the towel. Very sad. And unAmerican.”

She texted Chucri, “Seems you’re playing for the wrong team and people will remember. WRONG team.”

The data additionally embrace voicemails from Trump legal professional Rudy Giuliani attempting to achieve 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 get a chance, would you please give me a call,” Giuliani mentioned in a message to Gates. “I have a few things I’d like to talk over with you. Maybe we can get this thing fixed up. You know, I really think it’s a shame that Republicans sort of are both in this kind of situation. And I think there may be a nice way to resolve this for everybody.”

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