Politics - News Analysis
Georgia Election Officials Were So ‘Petrified’ of Trump That They Believed They Needed Attorneys
Amazingly, we all heard the phone call, the type that Michael Cohen said happened all the time. It was incredible to actually hear Trump behind the scenes, unbeknownst to him. Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger changed a dynamic that didn’t seem like it could be changed. It made it even worse for Trump.
Trump was a bully. We knew that. Trump was a scary bully. We had only heard about that. But mostly, Trump was a relentless bully, refusing to give up, trying to gain an edge, trying to wear Raffensperger and his staff down, perhaps we didn’t appreciate the relentless bullying, not to that degree.
He embarrassed himself and seemed to know it after it was released. It was embarrassing because at times he seemed to beg, at times he seemed desperate, at times he seemed threatening. He knew he sounded threatening. He sounds threatening all the time, but not in this context, not this nakedly threatening.
The Georgia Secretary of State and his staff felt threatened enough by the references to criminal charges that they even felt the need to hire lawyers. They knew he was a bully who had never been held accountable. They were right to be terrified. The man led an insurrection soon after. Relentless.
Channel 2 in Atlanta interviewed Raffensperger and others from the office:
[We spoke] with Brad Raffensperger about what was going on behind the scenes as a nation watched — a measure of the kind of pressure top Georgia elections officials felt at one point. One Raffensperger aide said she was so petrified that she and colleagues felt the need to get attorneys “for just doing our jobs.”
“I knew that we had to stand on the truth and we had to follow the numbers,” Raffensberger said. “My dad, you know, brought me up to have integrity.”
We know. And he did have integrity. We heard that, too.
“They are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard,” Trump said on the recorded calls. “And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen.”
Based on what Trump heard (from some conspiracy site on the net), the state is taking criminal “finds” (Acts, probably). He told Raffensperger that Raffensperger was just “letting it happen.” Trump obviously thinks all this is a crime and Trump just fired Bill Barr for not doing enough to “find the fraud.”
The office’s fears of criminal prosecution have passed. It should be noted that had criminal charges been filed by the DOJ or U.S. Attorney’s office, the charge would not be something that could be immediately dismissed by Biden’s DOJ. It could easily take a few months and discussions within DOJ. Additionally, charges would convince the MAGAs that much more, they would be absolutely convinced that Reffensperger rigged Georgia, that Biden “stole” it, and then dismissing the charges to complete the job. It would have been awful.
Fear surely led them to record the call. Now Trump and Lindsey Graham are the ones that must fear charges. That seems like a just end.
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