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Georgia leaders reject Trump's push to overturn election results

Washington — Georgia's Republican leaders on Sunday rejected a call from President Trump to convene a special legislative session to overturn the results of the presidential election in the state as the president continues to falsely claim he defeated President-elect Joe Biden.

In a joint statement, Governor Brian Kemp and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan said bringing together a special session of the Georgia General Assembly "in order to select a separate slate of presidential electors is not an option that is allowed under state or federal law."

"The judicial system remains the only viable — and quickest — option in disputing the results of the November 3rd election in Georgia," the two Republicans said.

Kemp and Duncan noted that under state law, the legislature could only alter the method for choosing presidential electors if the election was not able to be held on Election Day, which is set by federal law. 

"Any attempt by the legislature to retroactively change that process for the November 3rd election would be unconstitutional and immediately enjoined by the courts, resulting in a long legal dispute and no short-term resolution," they said.

Following completion of a statewide hand recount of votes cast in its presidential election, Georgia certified its election results last month, formalizing Mr. Biden's victory over Mr. Trump in the state. But the president continues to claim illegal votes were counted in Georgia and has declared himself the winner, even as Republican state elections officials have said Mr. Biden definitively won the state.

Legal challenges brought by Mr. Trump's GOP allies attempting to overturn Georgia's election results have thus far not been successful. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recertified Georgia's election results Monday and noted in a statement that former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell's "Kraken" lawsuit, which attempted to decertify Georgia's results with allegations of widespread voter fraud and absentee ballot-related errors, had been dismissed by a U.S. District Court in Georgia.

"Georgians can now move forward knowing that their votes, and only their legal votes, were counted accurately, fairly, and reliably," Raffensperger said in a release.

The release affirmed that all 159 counties in Georgia provided the state with their total votes tabulated in the presidential election, and Raffensperger affirmed that the consolidated returns "are a true and correct tabulation of the certified returns received by this office from each county," the release read.

Mr. Trump has lambasted Georgia's leaders over the election and on Saturday tweeted that Kemp should "immediately ask for a Special Session of the Legislature." The president also called Kemp earlier Saturday, with the Georgia governor acknowledging on Twitter that the two spoke.

The Washington Post reported that during the call, the president pushed Kemp to persuade the Georgia legislature to overturn Mr. Biden's win.

Mr. Trump's effort to pressure Kemp is the latest in his attempts to reverse his election loss. Last month, he summoned Republican legislative leaders from Michigan to meet with him at the White House. But after the meeting, the lawmakers said they were not made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan, which Mr. Biden won.

The president-elect officially secured the Electoral College majority he needed to win the presidency last week, when California certified its election results.

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