1/ Trump pressured Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to overturn the state’s presidential election results. Trump told Brad Raffensperger in an hourlong phone call, which also included Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and legal advisers, “We have won the election in Georgia based on all of this. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad.” Raffensperger pushed back, telling Trump “the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.” Trump, however, continued to push his debunked theories of election fraud, like “stuffed ballot boxes,” and, at one point said: “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.” Trump later added: “So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.” At one point, Trump warned that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk” by not pursuing his false claims and threatened him with “a criminal offense.” Throughout the call, Trump repeated that “There’s no way I lost Georgia […] There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.” Trump lost to Biden by 11,779 votes. Since the election, there have been 18 attempted calls from the White House to the Georgia secretary of state’s office. An intern monitoring the line, however, thought the calls were a prank and hung up. (Washington Post / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / New York Times / NPR / Politico)

2/ Trump’s call to Georgia’s secretary of state may have violated laws that prohibit interference in federal or state elections. Brad Raffensperger said that while it was unlikely his office would open an investigation into the call with Trump, he suggested that a criminal probe could still be launched by an Atlanta-area district attorney. Raffensperger added, “I understand that the Fulton County district attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go.” A pair of House Democrats, meanwhile, asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe, believing that Trump “engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes.” (New York Times / Politico / NBC News / The Guardian / NPR)

3/ A top election official in Georgia accused Trump’s legal team of “intentionally misleading” voters about voter fraud. In a press conference, Gabriel Sterling, a Georgia voting system implementation manager, systematically refuted Trump’s already-debunked claims of voter fraud, saying “This is all easily, provably false. Yet the president persists, and by doing so undermines Georgians’ faith in the election system.” Sterling added: “It was intentional, it was obvious, and anybody watching this knows that.” (USA Today / New York Times)

4/ A group of at least 11 Republican senators and senators-elect plan to challenge Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6, calling for an “emergency 10-day audit” to investigate Trump’s numerous unfounded election fraud claims. The senators – led by Ted Cruz – provided no evidence, but cited unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and said they intend “to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified.’” The same claims have been repeatedly rejected by courts. The new Congress will meet Wednesday to formally count the Electoral College votes. Pence, as the president of the senate, will preside over the joint session and signaled support for the effort to vote against certification. (NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Axios)

  • A federal judge threw out a lawsuit from Rep. Louie Gohmert and several Arizona Republicans seeking to force Pence to decide the outcome of the 2020 election. (CNN / Politico)

5/ Covid-19 cases in the United States eclipsed 20 million as Trump falsely tweeted that the coronavirus cases and deaths are “exaggerated.” Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed back on the claim, saying “The numbers are real. We have well over 300,000 deaths. We are averaging two to three thousand deaths per day.” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams also contradicted Trump’s claim, saying there is “no reason to doubt” the CDC’s Covid-19 death toll. The nation reported more than 210,000 new cases for Sunday as hospitalizations hit a record-high 125,544. (Politico / NBC News / CNN / NPR / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)

  • 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~85,521,000; deaths: ~1,850,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~20,758,000; deaths: ~353,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • The Trump administration fell well short of its goal to vaccinate 20 million people by January 1. About 12.4 million doses have been distributed to states, but only 2.8 million doses have been administered. (CNN / New York Times / Axios / Bloomberg)

  • Colorado officials reported the first known case of the more contagious coronavirus variant discovered in Britain. Scientists said the variant is more transmissible but does not make people sicker. The variant was detected in a man in his 20s with no travel history. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, ordered a third national lockdown for England as a more contagious coronavirus variant has surged. (Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg)

  • Trump skipped his annual New Year’s Eve party, leaving guests to party maskless with Rudy Giuliani and Vanilla Ice at Mar-a-Lago. (CNN / New York Times)

✏️ Notables.

  1. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office retained a forensic accounting specialists to help with its criminal investigation of Trump and his business. The investigation was opened in 2018 to examine the alleged hush-money payments made to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him years earlier, but has since expanded to include the Trump Organization’s activities more broadly. (Washington Post)

  2. The Senate voted to override Trump’s veto of the $741 billion defense authorization bill – the first successful veto override of Trump’s presidency. (New York Times / Washington Post

  3. Trump awarded Devin Nunes with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Nunes defended Trump during the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, as well as during his impeachment. Nunes also once sued a fake cow for defamatory tweets. (NPR / Washington Post / The Guardian)