18 August 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump now says he won’t be holding a press conference next week to unveil what he claims is new evidence of fraud in the 2020 election in Georgia, citing the advice of lawyers.
No compelling evidence of the wide-scale fraud Trump alleges has emerged in the two-and-a-half years since the election. Republican officials in the state — where three recounts confirmed Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden — have long said he lost legitimately.
“Rather than releasing the Report on the Rigged & Stolen Georgia 2020 Presidential Election on Monday, my lawyers would prefer putting this, I believe, Irrefutable & Overwhelming evidence of Election Fraud & Irregularities in formal Legal Filings as we fight to dismiss this disgraceful Indictment,” he wrote on his social media site Thursday evening. He added, “Therefore, the News Conference is no longer necessary!”
Trump had announced that he would be holding the event hours after a grand jury voted to charge him and others in a sweeping alleged conspiracy to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the peaceful transition of power.
He had said he would use the “major News Conference” at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club Monday morning to release what he claimed was an “almost complete” report, adding, “Based on the results of this CONCLUSIVE Report, all charges should be dropped against me & others – There will be a complete EXONERATION!”
Federal and state election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have said there is no credible evidence that the election was tainted. The former president’s allegations of fraud were also roundly rejected by courts, including by judges Trump appointed.
In Georgia, the state at the center of his latest indictment, three recounts were conducted after the election — each of which confirmed his loss to Biden.
Trump advisers had long urged him to spend less time airing his grievances about the 2020 election and more time focused on his plans for the future. Trump has already been warned to watch his public comments. The federal judge overseeing the election conspiracy case brought against him in Washington last week warned the former president that there are limits to what he can publicly say about evidence in the investigation as he campaigns for a second term in the White House.
The judge said that the more “inflammatory” statements are made about the case, the greater her urgency will be to move quickly to trial to prevent witness intimidation or jury pool contamination.
“I will take whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the integrity of the case,” she said.
Trump’s continued claims of fraud in Georgia had drawn drawn criticism from state’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump had tried to lobby as part of his efforts to overturn his loss in the battleground state.
“The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen. For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward – under oath – and prove anything in a court of law,” Kemp wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump had tried to pressure to unilaterally overturn the results of the election and is now challenging Trump for the Republican nomination, echoed that message.
“The Georgia election was not stolen and I had no right to overturn the election on January 6th,” he said this week.