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New Docs Show Internal Discord During Georgia's Recount Fiasco

4 9 228

Back in January 2021, as then-President Donald Trump was calling on Georgia election officials to “find 11,780 votes,” new documents show that the secretary of state’s office in Georgia was in full crisis mode.

There were death threats ​​promising to “make the Boston bombings look like child’s play.” Impassioned pleas for Georgia’s top elections official to stand firm in the face of pressure from Trump to break the law. And an alarmed state official demanding an immediate investigation into Donald Trump’s “solicitation to commit election fraud.”

In the chaotic weeks following the 2020 election, Trump was in the midst of a full-scale effort to delegitimize Georgia ballot totals, calling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “an enemy of the people” and sending a team of advisers to convince state legislators to decertify the results of a recount that just barely put Joe Biden ahead.

Emails between state elections officials show the tense moments on the first weekend of January 2021, when Trump called Raffensperger and squeezed him to “find” enough votes to tip the state in his favor—a call that was recorded and almost immediately leaked to The Washington Post.

The Daily Beast received nearly 700 pages of internal communications from the Georgia secretary of state’s office through a public records request. In those emails between officials and incoming messages from the public, the records show how David J. Worley—the only Democrat on the state’s election board—reached out to Raffensperger and the agency’s top lawyer, Ryan Germany, on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 3, after he had listened to the leaked audio.

“I commend you and Ryan Germany for sticking to the state’s position and the plain facts despite the President’s repeated attempts to pressure you into somehow changing the certified votes,” Worley wrote in an email, asking that the secretary of state “open an investigation… to determine whether violations of the provisions… which prohibit solicitation to commit election fraud have occurred.

Worley’s email was immediately forwarded from Raffensperger’s email account to the Washington Post reporter who broke that story, Amy Gardner, leading to a quick follow-up article.

Reached on Wednesday, Raffensperger told The Daily Beast it mattered to him that people were “aware” action was being taken on the phone call. He also said he found it “best” that the Fulton County district attorney has taken up the investigation, as that office will bring “an independent set of eyes” to the incident.

After all, Raffensperger’s entire office was on the receiving end of Trump’s wrath for nearly two months after the November election. And the fact that the state official is a Republican somehow made it even worse, with the president making constant insinuations of betrayal. Trump lied that Georgia was allowing “fraudulent” ballots to be counted, claimed Raffensperger himself was behind a “scam,” and attacked him and the governor for not allowing his team to review voter signatures that “would expose hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots.”

The caustic cacophony reached its highest pitch in December when Raffensperger’s chief operating officer, Gabriel........

© The Daily Beast

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