Trump Pressured Detroit Canvassers Not To Certify 2020 Election: Report

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During his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, Donald Trump pressured two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers to not certify the election’s results, according to phone recordings obtained by The Detroit News.

“We’ve got to fight for our country,” Trump told the canvassers on a Nov. 17, 2020 call that also included Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, according to the report. “We can’t let these people take our country away from us.” 

The two canvassers, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, voted earlier that day not to sign the certification, and then changed their mind, with the caveat that there’d be an audit. Trump told them on the call that it would look “terrible” if they signed the certification after changing their minds on the certification, per the report.

McDaniel and Trump told the canvassers on the call that they could provide them with legal resources as well. “If you can go home tonight, do not sign it… We will get you attorneys,” McDaniel said.

Palmer confirmed to the Detroit News that she and Hartmann (who died in 2021) took the call with Trump, though she told the outlet she didn’t remember the specifics of the call.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Trump’s campaign team claimed that the four-time indicted ex-president’s “actions were taken in furtherance of his duty as President of the United States to faithfully take care of the laws and ensure election integrity, including investigating the rigged and stolen 2020 Presidential Election.”

McDaniel told the Detroit News in a statement that she supported an audit of the election. “What I said publicly and repeatedly at the time, as referenced in my letter on Nov. 21, 2020, is that there was ample evidence that warranted an audit,” McDaniels said.

A federal grand jury indicted Trump in August over his attempts to steal the election. This isn’t the first time Trump was caught attempting to coerce local officials across the country to change the election’s outcome. A previously leaked phone call between Trump and Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger detailed the former president pushing Raffensberger to “find” more votes to overturn the election. He also reportedly called former Arizona governor Doug Ducey to overturn the results as well.


Beyond the call between Trump and the canvassers, earlier this year, Michigan’s attorney general Dana Nessel brought criminal charges against 16 individuals over their efforts to change the 2020 election results by submitting a fake, alternate docket of pro-Trump electors.

“They weren’t the duly elected and qualified electors and each of the defendants knew it,” Nessel said in July. “They carried out these actions with the hope that the electoral votes of Michigan’s 2020 election would be awarded to the candidate of their choosing, instead of the candidate that Michigan voters actually chose.”

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