Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Rejects Trump’s Call to Strengthen Recount with Emergency Powers

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks after touring a Bridgestone golfball manufacturing facility Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Covington, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Monday shot down President Donald Trump’s call to bolster the state’s recount using his emergency powers.

“Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections. The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order,” Cody Hall, a spokesperson for Kemp, said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “As the governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps – including a sample audit of signatures – to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.”

Earlier Monday, President Trump criticized Kemp for failing to tackle the “goldmine of fraud” in the state’s presidential election by not signature matching mail-in ballots.“Why won’t Governor Brian Kemp, the hapless Governor of Georgia, use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State, and do a match of signatures on envelopes,” the president tweeted in reference to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).

“Georgia Republicans are angry, all Republicans are angry. Get it done!” he added.

Raffensperger has said signatures matching is now impossible due to ballots being separated from their outer envelopes.

President Trump also suggested that the state’s election could have been plagued by other types of irregularities.

“Also, quickly check the number of envelopes versus the number of ballots,” he tweeted. “You may just find that there are many more ballots than there are envelopes. So simple, and so easy to do.”

Shortly after President Trump’s comments, his campaign announced that it sent a fifth request to Raffensperger for a signature audit. 

“It is not possible for you to accurately certify the results in the presidential race from the November 3, 2020, election until and unless there is a thorough audit of the signatures, which we have now requested four times in writing prior to this request. You cannot in good faith conclude the ongoing statutory recount until you have instituted a signature matching audit,” said Trump campaign lawyer Ray Smith.

“Until the signatures are matched, the vote count in Georgia is a complete fraud,” added former New York City Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. “There is no way of knowing which ballots are honest and which ballots are fraudulent.”

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