The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has now heard from Brad Raffensperger, the current Georgia Secretary of State. Raffensperger, who is a Republican but has frequently spoken out against Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud in last year’s election, spoke with members of the committee for over four hours on Tuesday. Joe Biden was victorious in Georgia, and no legitimate evidence has ever emerged to prove that this victory was the result of fraud, but Trump implored Raffensperger on a January phone call to “find” enough votes to flip the state.
Just in: Georgia’s top elections official was interviewed for more than four hours Tuesday by a panel of U.S. House lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. #gapol
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 30, 2021
That phone conversation was among the topics that Raffensperger discussed with the committee. As Raffensperger put it, referring to the call:
‘We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation… We want to make sure people have confidence in the election systems. If you lose, lose with dignity. It’s important that people hear that… What happened in January was terrible, but we need to be focused on the real issues Americans are facing now: inflation, rising costs, the border situation. So much of this is looking backward. If all Democrats can do is target Donald Trump and all Republicans can do is relitigate the 2020 election, both parties are in trouble. The sooner the focus can shift to what voters care about the better.’
Raffensperger: “We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation.” https://t.co/NNLgoLtTcJ
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) November 30, 2021
Obviously, there’s some familiarly Republican rhetoric in there, but the point remains — Raffensperger is in a position to provide condemning details about Trump’s personal role in fostering election-related violence. Raffensperger has previously stated that he took certain remarks from Trump on that January call as a threat. During the conversation, Trump told Raffensperger, in reference to the Georgia official’s insistence that no systematic election fraud was present: “When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.” As Raffensperger put it: “I 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.” Besides the Capitol attack, Raffensperger has also faced death threats from Trump supporters.
— Zachary Cohen (@ZcohenCNN) November 30, 2021