A criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump and certain allies of his over their efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory in Georgia has gotten a substantial lift from a new book by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In that book, Raffensperger (who is a Republican) outlines how Trump attempted to threaten him into changing the presidential election outcome in the state. Trump did so on a call that took place in the very early part of January, just days before the violence unfolded at the Capitol.
As Bess Levin put it for Vanity Fair on Tuesday:
‘Presumably, prosecutors are extremely interested in a new book out today by Raffensperger, Integrity Counts, in which he says in no uncertain terms that Trump threatened him while demanding he magically come up with 11,780 votes necessary to beat Joe Biden.’
On that call, Raffensperger wrote that then-President Trump had been “using what he believes is the power of his position to threaten Ryan [Germany] and me with prosecution if we don’t do what he tells us to do. It was nothing but an attempt at manipulation.” (Ryan Germany serves as a legal counsel for Raffensperger.) At another point on the call, Raffensperger shared how he felt that he was once again directly threatened by the then-president, who told the top Georgia elections official that “when you talk about no criminality [in the election process], I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.” Raffensperger wrote that he “felt then—and still believe today—that this was a threat. Others obviously thought so, too, because some of Trump’s more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat.”
Personally, Raffensperger and his family have faced death threats from some of Trump’s crazed supporters, in addition to the obvious manifestation of the potential for violence at the Capitol in January. The Georgia investigation into related matters is being led by Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis.
Not that there’s any sort of looming, legitimate question about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election results, but it’s worth noting that what Trump actually said on the call with Raffensperger about what he believed to have gone down in Georgia was gibberish. Trump said at the time that he “[thinks] you’re going to find that they are shredding ballots because they have to get rid of the ballots because the ballots are unsigned. The ballots are corrupt, and they’re brand new, and they don’t have seals, and there’s a whole thing with the ballots. But the ballots are corrupt. And you are going to find that they are—which is totally illegal—it is more illegal for you than it is for them, because, you know what they did and you’re not reporting it.” Where does he get this kind of utter nonsense?