Former President Trump called then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston after the 2020 elections asking him to convene a special session of the legislature to overturn Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the state, according to jurors who participated in the special grand jury investigating whether Trump and his allies tried to unlawfully interfere in the 2020 election results.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with 5 of the 23 jurors, who revealed that they listened to a recording of a phone conversation between Trump and Ralston as a part of the grand jury’s investigation.
The jurors told the AJC that they came away with the impression Ralston had brushed Trump back.
The speaker “basically cut the president off,” a juror recalled to the paper. “He said, ‘I will do everything in my power that I think is appropriate.’ … He just basically took the wind out of the sails. ‘Well, thank you,’ you know, is all the president could say,” the juror recounted.
Ralston, who passed away in November, did not call for a special session.
This is not the first recorded instance of Trump making calls to Georgia state officials as a part of his campaign to pressure them into overturning the 2020 election results in the state.
The former president also infamously called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021 and asked him to revisit the results and “find” 11,780 votes for him — the number of votes Trump needed to overturn his loss in Georgia.
“All I want to do is this,” the president said on that phone call, which participants recorded. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
The special grand jury met for nearly seven months in a courthouse in Atlanta last year and heard testimony from 70 witnesses. Trump was not among those who testified but many key Trump allies — including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani — did.
Jurors also told AJC about a part of Graham’s testimony, recalling that the senator from South Carolina told them Trump was so detached from reality after losing the 2020 election that he would have believed pretty much anything.
“He said that during that time, if somebody had told Trump that aliens came down and stole Trump ballots, that Trump would’ve believed it,” one grand juror told the paper.
In previous interviews, foreperson of the jury Emily Kohrs also revealed that the special grand jury recommended indictments for over a dozen people on a range of charges in its final report.
Kohrs did not say who exactly was recommended for indictment. But when asked if Trump is one of those names, she said the names on the list won’t come as a surprise.
“You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science,” Kohrs said in a New York Times interview. “You won’t be too surprised.”