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Tag: brad raffensperger

Georgia's Honest Republican 'Bends' To Election Conspiracists In Re-Election Bid

Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who in November 2020 refused Donald Trump’s demand to “find” the votes for the ex-president to win the state and vigorously defended the accuracy of Georgia’s results and recounts, is “being bent to the will” of 2020 election deniers as his May 24 primary approaches, civil rights advocates say.

Raffensperger, who knows what factually occurred during the election, has endorsed a new investigation by the State Elections Board into specious allegations that thousands of mailed-out 2020 ballots had been illegally collected in metro Atlanta by dozens of workers hired by left-leaning nonprofit groups whose leadership supported Joe Biden’s candidacy.

The allegations, which are not new, and which the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and FBI examined last fall and declined to investigate, are at the core of an inflammatory new movie, 2000 Mules, made by right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza and a right-wing voter vigilante group, True the Vote, which is now being promoted in pro-Trump circles.

“We will continue investigating every credible allegation of ballot harvesting in Georgia. The only ones that should touch a ballot are the voter and the election official,” Raffensperger said on Facebook on May 2, as he reposted an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report on the Georgia State Elections Board launching an investigation into possible illegal ballot collection.

“They [True the Vote] need to provide us [the board] the names of those people that they say harvested the ballots. We’re going to find out who they are and where they live, were they paid, and how much were they paid,” Raffensperger said during an April 23 debate.

While it is standard for Georgia’s secretary of state to open investigations after receiving complaints, Raffensperger’s revisionism appears to cede ground to a primary challenger, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) who, like many Republicans across the country, has built his primary campaign on attacking the 2020 presidential results and has been endorsed by Trump. Raffensperger’s last-minute validation of True the Vote’s allegations is troubling to voting rights advocates.

“Raffensperger, whether you like him or not, still followed the rule of law [in 2020]. And now he is being bent to the will of these conspiracists,” said Ray McClendon, Atlanta NAACP political action committee chairman. “These people who used to be genuine conservatives are now part of the cult when they know better.”

“I do believe that a lot of people respected Raffensperger for having a little integrity and a backbone and standing up and telling the truth that there was no fraud,” said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. “And to veer away from that is just playing politics and not really being truthful with voters.”

True The Vote

True the Vote is a Texas-based voter vigilante organization that grew out of the Tea Party and has been promoting the myth of voter fraud since the early years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Initially, the group sought to train poll watchers to confront what its founders, predominantly white conservatives, believed were illegal votes by people of color. Despite earning media coverage, it failed to deliver on its claims—in part because illegal voting is exceptionally rare, and when it occurs it is usually a result of an individual’s error and not a partisan conspiracy. True the Vote filed lawsuits that were ridiculed by Republican judges and senior election officials. However, in today’s era of social media-driven disinformation, it has found new audiences, including Trump, who played the trailer to “2000 Mules” at an Ohio rally in late April.

True the Vote is known for making outsized allegations based on shoddy methodology and withholding evidence to support its claims, including its Georgia-based assertion made last fall that it had analyzed cell phone-tracking data and video footage, and had identified 279 people who made repeated trips to ballot drop boxes in 2020’s general election. Under Georgia law, only voters, their immediate family members, and the caregivers of voters with disabilities are allowed to handle and return mailed-out ballots.

“The key distinction to make here is between ballot harvesting and ballot trafficking,” D’Souza told Chicago’s AM 560 talk radio. “In Georgia, for example, you can give your ballot [to another person to return]—but only to a family member, or, if you are in a nursing home, to a caregiver to drop it off… What we have here is left-wing nonprofit organizations operating as vote stash houses, accumulating vast numbers of ballots, and then hiring paid political operatives called mules to deliver them. That is illegal.”

Last fall, when True the Vote presented these allegations to state officials, D. Victor Reynolds, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation director, wrote back saying his agency had reviewed the allegations, consulted with the FBI, and concluded that “based on what has been provided and what has not been provided, an investigation is not justified.”

“What has not been provided is any other kind of evidence that ties these cell phones to ballot harvesting; for example, there are no statements of witnesses and no names of any potential defendants to interview,” Reynolds’ letter said. “Saliently, it has been stated that there is ‘a source’ that can validate ballot harvesting. Despite repeated requests that source has not been provided to either the GBI or to the FBI.”

But now that the movie, 2000 Mules, is poised to debut in 270 theaters across the country, the filmmakers are trumpeting interview footage—which they claim is real—of a paid ballot trafficker allegedly explaining the ballot delivery operation. And the right-wing filmmakers have expanded their allegations, claiming that a “‘network’ of non-governmental organizations… worked together to facilitate a ballot trafficking scheme in Georgia” that was based out of “10 hubs” in metro Atlanta, according to an April 21 subpoena by the State Elections Board to True the Vote founder Catherine Englebrecht to testify on May 26—two days after the state’s 2022 primary—and present her evidence.

When Englebrecht testified about the same allegedly illegal ballot trafficking scheme before Wisconsin’s legislature in late March, Democratic legislators replied that she was overclaiming—replying that Englebrecht may not like mailed-out ballots, but that did not mean illegal voting occurred. She replied, “Maybe a few percentage points of your population needs to vote legitimately by mail because, certainly, we don’t want to see anyone deprived… But that tips over into an indefinitely confined list and it becomes theater of the absurd.”

'No Evidence'

The Atlanta NAACP’s McClendon said that it is the 2020 election deniers who are putting forth political smears that have no basis in reality.

“It’s unbelievable to me, the depths to which they will go with these lies, and that they can gain traction with no evidence,” said McClendon, who led a field operation in 2020 that spanned 17 counties where 75 percent of Georgia’s Black voters live and involved nonprofit civic groups.

“We haven’t done anything like what they are alleging. I don’t know any groups that have done, quote-unquote, [ballot] harvesting,” he said. “I know people that have delivered valid ballots to the county registrar’s office. They don’t bring them to drop boxes… Those people are nursing home attendants and family members.”

McClendon said that the new allegations by the Trump propagandists and the responses by the State Elections Board and Raffensperger lending credence to their claims—allegations that the GBI and FBI already rejected—were ugly but not unexpected. But he said that there was little more that Georgia’s Republicans could do to impede voting with mailed-out ballots in 2022, because the state’s red-run government has passed laws making that option inconvenient.

Under SB 202, a massive election bill passed last year, the Georgia legislature and Gov. Brian Kemp instituted an overly bureaucratic absentee ballot application and return process. It also made returning mailed-out ballots less convenient by restricting drop boxes. For example, metro Atlanta’s most populous county, Fulton County, can deploy fewer than 10 drop boxes across the entire jurisdiction, McClendon said. As a result, the NAACP and other groups seeking to turn out primary voters were encouraging people to vote early and in person.

“Our game plan has already been—and this is part of our text-banking that started last weekend—to tell all of our people, if you are physically able, you need to early vote starting May 2,” he said. “Don’t rely on any kind of mail-in balloting.”

On May 3, the Associated Press published its fact-check report on “2000 Mules,” finding the film’s research and claims were “based on faulty assumptions, anonymous accounts and improper analysis of cell phone location data, which is not precise enough to confirm that somebody deposited a ballot into a drop box, according to experts.”

In other words, the propaganda put forth by the latest pro-Trump movie is not relevant to Georgia’s 2022 voting options, as the state’s Republicans have already impeded absentee voting. Raffensperger certainly knows that reality, as well as the fact that his state’s 2020 presidential results and recounts were accurate. And that’s what makes his last-minute embrace of 2020 election denial claims disturbing.

“People should tell the truth, stick with the truth, and leave it at that,” said Butler.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Meadows Text Messages Reveal Details Of Trump's Georgia Scheming

Text messages obtained from Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, are once again shedding light on the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the 2020 elections.

This time the spotlight is on Georgia, where former President Donald Trump tried to subvert the election by pressuring the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in a now-infamous phone call, to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s eventual victory after the former president’s narrow three-day lead.

On January 2, 2021, three days after calling for Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s resignation, Trump hopped on an hour-long call with Raffensperger and claimed — falsely, of course — that it was “pretty clear” he had “won” Georgia, weeks after the state’s top officials defied death threats to officially certify Biden as the winner of the state’s electoral votes.

As Trump urged Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have [to get],” Jordan Fuchs, Georgia's deputy secretary of state, pleaded with Meadows to end the call.

"Need to end this call," Fuchs told Meadows. "I don't think this will be productive much longer." Fuchs later added, “Let’s save the relationship,” according to a new CNN report.

The correspondence is part of a large trove of text messages from Meadow’s phone submitted by the House Select Committee in a recent court filing.

The hour-long call is at the heart of a Georgian investigation into whether Trump and his allies’ actions to overturn the state’s election results were criminal, and state prosecutors have convened a special grand jury to hear evidence and, if needed, subpoena witnesses and documents to bolster the state’s investigation.

Perdue 'Doing What You And President Want'

David Perdue, who lost his Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a January 5, 2021, runoff election, reentered the political landscape last year to challenge Kemp in the governor’s race at a time Trump was on the lookout for a challenger to primary the incumbent governor.

Perdue won Trump’s coveted endorsement and has since embraced and parroted the former president’s baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 elections, even though multiple recounts confirmed his and Trump’s loss in the state.

CNN has released a fresh round of text messages that show Perdue, who was preparing for the Georgia Senate runoff, also partook in Trumpworld’s 2020 pressure campaign in Georgia.

“Carr,” Perdue wrote — referring to Georgia’s Attorney General, Chris Carr — “won’t be of any help with SOS.” Meadows received this text message on December 13, 2020. "I have a call into the Governor's general counsel now to see if they might help," Perdue added.

The text came days after Trump warned Carr not to rally GOP officials against a lawsuit that Texas filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out millions of votes in Georgia and three other battleground states.

However, Carr, in brave defiance of Trump, assailed the lawsuit, calling it “constitutionally legally, and factually wrong,” and urged the justices to reject it.

Afterward, in a December 29 message, Perdue texted Meadows of his effort to arrange a meeting between Rudy Giuliani — the disgraced former Trump lawyer — and top Republican members of the Georgia state senate. "I'm trying to set up this call with state legislature leaders and Rudy," Perdue said. "I just want to make sure I'm doing what you and the president want."

“Great,” Meadows replied.

The next day, Giuliani appeared before the Georgia State Senate subcommittee to peddle lies and outlandish claims of election fraud.

Fani Willis, District Attorney of Fulton County, has been investigating Trump’s calls with Raffensperger and an official in his office; Guiliani’s falsehood-ridden presentation to Georgia lawmakers; Senator Lindsey Graham’s pressure phone call to Raffensperger; and the sudden resignation of Byung Pak, a former US attorney in Atlanta.

Investigators in Georgia have deposed 50 witnesses and plan to subpoena 30 others, according to CNN, an investigative process the special grand jury is expected to strengthen. "I imagine that we're going to be issuing subpoenas to a lot of people, and that all of them are not going to welcome our invitation to come speak with us," Willis told CNN.

Requests for comments sent to Fuchs, Perdue’s campaign, and Meadows went unanswered. Giuliani’s attorney didn’t comment on the text messages but said his client hadn’t been contacted by Georgian authorities.

The Trump Coup Is Ongoing -- And 'Moderate' Republicans Enable It

Some look back on the events following Donald Trump's 2020 election loss and think we dodged a bullet: There was a coup attempt, and thankfully it failed. Others believe that the whole thing has been overblown. Even as evidence piles up that the coup was far more extensive than siccing a mob on the Capitol, those two takes seem unshaken. There is another way to look at it: The coup is ongoing. With every new revelation about how extensive Trump's efforts to overturn the election were — and they are arriving on an almost daily basis — the flaccid response of Republicans makes the next coup that much more thinkable.

Trump, we now know, paged through the federal departments and agencies looking for willing insurrectionists. He explored the possibility of having the Justice Department seize voting machines in swing states (Bill Barr shot down the idea), and then considered installing Jeffrey Clark as attorney general in Barr's place (a threatened mass resignation stayed his hand). He then turned to the military and considered using his emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to permit the Pentagon to seize voting machines and other records.

Things had gone as far as the drafting of a presidential "finding" about nonexistent fraud. Trump also tested the waters at the Department of Homeland Security, asking Rudy Giuliani to see whether the (unlawfully appointed) acting deputy secretary, Ken Cuccinelli, would seize the voting machines under that department's auspices. Cuccinelli begged off.

This comes on the heels of revelations about phony slates of electors. Eighty-four Republicans from seven states signed bogus documents claiming that Trump had won their states and sent these fake Electoral College certificates to the National Archives.

Trump was busier attempting to undo the election than he had ever been as president. He summoned the leaders of the Michigan legislature to the White House after the election to convince them to certify that their state, which voted for Biden, had voted for him. He cajoled and threatened Georgia's secretary of state to "find" 11,780 votes. He phoned local election officials to pressure them to say they found fraud, buzzed the Arizona governor repeatedly even up to the minute he was signing his state's certification, and strong-armed the vice president to, in Trump's own words, "overturn the election."

A little-noticed feature of the stories about Trump's thus-far unsuccessful efforts to stage a coup is that even among the MAGA crowd, some things were considered beyond the pale. Barr was willing to swallow a lot, but he couldn't go along with lying about imaginary vote fraud. The high-ranking lawyers at the Justice Department were Trump appointees, but they would resign en masse rather than see Clark subvert the department for plainly unlawful ends. Brad Raffensperger voted for Trump but refused to lie for him. Cuccinelli was Trump's loyal immigration hawk, but he couldn't see his way to using his Homeland Security post to confiscate voting machines and commit fraud. And though Mike Pence, pressed hard by Trump for the last full measure of devotion, wavered (he phoned former Vice President Dan Quayle for advice), in the end, he did what he knew was right.

A healthy body politic, like a healthy physical body, needs antibodies. It needs certain automatic defenses. The actions of those Republicans were the vestigial antibodies of a healthy democracy. The people who made those crucial decisions were acting out of a sense that anything less would be dishonorable and would be perceived as such by the whole society.

But would they make the same decisions today? Every single time a Republican suggests that what Trump did and attempted to do was anything less than a five-alarm fire, they are weakening our immune system.

Sen. Susan Collins was asked whether she could support Trump in 2024. She declined to rule it out.

Just think about what message that sends to the rank and file about what is beyond the pale and what isn't. If Collins might even support Trump, maybe it's not such a big deal.

On the anniversary of January 6, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sneered at what he called "nauseating" remembrances, adding that "it's an insult to people when you say it's an insurrection." Another blow to the concept that something truly awful happened that must never be repeated.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has not hesitated to appear on the John Fredericks radio show since his inauguration. Fredericks was the host of a rally in October that featured an American flag that had been carried at the "peaceful" January 6 protest. Fredericks also ladles out big helpings of election falsehood to his listeners.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has announced a new podcast, hosted by Sen. Rick Scott, to help 2022 GOP senate candidates. First scheduled guest: Donald Trump.

It was not just an attempted coup. The steady sapping of republican virtue continues.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the Beg to Differ podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Georgia Prosecutor Requests Special Grand Jury In Trump Probe

By Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer

(Reuters) -The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results.

In a letter to Fulton County's chief judge, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, District Attorney Fani Willis wrote that multiple witnesses being probed have refused to cooperate absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.

"Therefore, I am hereby requesting ... that a special purpose grand jury be impaneled for the purpose of investigating the facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 elections in the State of Georgia," Willis wrote.

The investigation by Willis, a Democrat, is the most serious probe facing Trump in Georgia after he was recorded in a phone call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the state's election results based on unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Willis specifically mentioned that Raffensperger, whom she described as an "essential witness," had indicated he would only take part in an interview once presented with a subpoena.

In a statement, Trump defended what he called his "perfect" phone call and repeated false allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In a separate legal woe for the Trump family, the U.S. House of Representatives' panel investigating the deadly January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday requested an interview with Trump's daughter and former White House aide Ivanka Trump.

And earlier this week, New York state's attorney general accused Trump's family business of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to obtain financial benefits, citing what it said was significant new evidence of possible fraud.

Trump critics hope that his legal problems may ultimately stymie a potential presidential run in 2024.

"It begins," Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island tweeted after news of the Georgia request.

'Finding' Votes

In her letter, Willis said a special grand jury, which can subpoena witnesses, was needed because jurors can be impaneled for longer periods and focus exclusively on a single probe.

A spokesperson for the superior courts in Fulton County, which encompasses most of the state capital Atlanta, said there was no immediate timeline for a response to Willis' request.

During the January 2, 2021 call, Trump urged Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to "find" enough votes to overturn his Georgia loss to Democrat Joe Biden. The transcript quotes Trump telling Raffensperger: "I just want to find 11,780 votes," which is the number Trump needed to win Georgia.

Legal experts have said Trump's phone calls may have violated at least three state election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with performance of election duties. The possible felony and misdemeanor violations are punishable by fines or imprisonment.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Bill Berkrot, Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman.)

Did The January 6 Coup Fail?

January 6 should have been the point of no return, the pivot point at which even the most blinkered sugar-coaters of Trumpism recoiled in disgust from what they had wrought.

For everyone who had convinced themselves that, whatever Trump's flaws, the true threat to the American way of life lay on the left and only on the left, January 6 was a blaring klaxon. Yes, he was a buffoon and incompetent and unfamiliar with the levers of power — and yet this clown nearly brought a 244-year-old democracy to its knees.

The most threatening aspect of January 6 was not the ferocious attack on the Capitol but the response of Republican officeholders thereafter. Even after the unleashing of medieval mob violence, 147 Republican members of Congress voted not to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the presidency. The transformation of the GOP from a political party into an authoritarian personality cult became official that day.

In the year since, most Republicans (with some extremely honorable exceptions) have descended further into cultishness. They blocked the creation of an independent January 6 commission, attempted to pack the congressional January 6 committee with Trump Dobermans like Rep. Jim Jordan, and engaged in flagrant gaslighting about the events of that day. Now, with the arrival of the first anniversary of the most shameful day in recent history, Republicans and right-wing opinion leaders returned to their comfort zone: Blame the media.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who showed uncharacteristic independence that day, has retreated to media bashing. "I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January," he told Fox News.

Radio host Erick Erickson tweeted that "there is a genuine obsession in the press about it. It was a bad day, but it doesn't outweigh crime, inflation, COVID, school closures, etc. for voters." Erickson was at pains to emphasize that he isn't now minimizing what happened at the Capitol, but merely responding to a "press corps obsessed with it as the worst thing ever."

This is not to say that there's no such thing as press overreaction or hysteria, but the right has been engaging in evasion for years with the "but the media" trope. In the wake of January 6, it looks not just dishonest but absurd. January 6 is not an "issue" like crime or COVID-19 or inflation. It's the heart of our system. Without bipartisan allegiance to the verdict of voters and the willingness to cede power to those you oppose, no other "issues" can ever be addressed.

Encounter Books editor Roger Kimball mocked the gravity of January 6. "Was it an effort to overthrow the government? Hardly." The trouble, of course, is the media: "To listen to the establishment media and our political masters, the January 6 protest was a dire threat to the very fabric of our nation."

In fact, Kimball claims, the media narrative amounts to a "January 6 insurrection hoax" to pair with the "Russia collusion hoax."

Unlike some of those cited above, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat is not an apologist for Trumpism. He doesn't blame the media, but he doubts that Trump has the wherewithal to subvert our system. Yes, Trump did try to steal the election, Douthat writes, but the courts and state legislatures failed to do his bidding.

That's a comforting thought, but it fails to grapple with two things. One is the GOP's systematic purging of officials who did the right thing in the 2020 election. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has been removed from the board overseeing election certification and is being primaried, as is Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Across the country, Republican officials who stood in the breach when it counted and did the right thing are being hounded from office. Members who voted to impeach are resigning or close to resigning.

It's true that Trump didn't quite know where the pressure points were last time, but he's learning. He has supported secretary of state candidates who deny the validity of the 2020 result in four swing states. Meanwhile, Republican-controlled legislatures in a number of states have passed laws withdrawing power over election certification from local election administrators and handing it to legislatures.

But the most profound reason to fear a repeat of something like January 6 is that Trump has corrupted the minds of a substantial percentage of Republican party members.

The polls consistently show that about two-thirds of Republicans believe the Big Lie that the election was stolen. Nearly a third believe that "Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country." Among rank-and-file Republicans, January 6 is not even viewed as regrettable. One poll found that 52% identified those who entered the Capitol as "protecting democracy."Institutions are not self-sustaining. They are composed of people, and if people have lost faith in them or have given themselves permission to break the rules, they will crumble.

A people deluded and propagandized cannot be trusted to uphold the pillars of the democratic process. Trump failed at his improvised coup, but he succeeded in warping enough of the electorate to make another attempt — and even success — all too possible.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Georgia Elections Official Says Trump Call Was 'A Threat'

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A Georgia official is speaking out with more context about former President Donald Trump's infamous phone call demanding that they "find" enough votes for him to overturn the presidential election.

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No Counterfeit Ballots Found By Georgia Election Investigators

Georgia election investigators were unable to find any counterfeit ballots among batches identified by Republican vote-counters, according to a court brief Tuesday, dealing a blow to a lawsuit seeking to inspect absentee ballots cast in last year’s presidential election. The court document filed on behalf of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said investigators reviewed 1,000 absentee ballots from batches in Fulton County that allegedly contained “pristine” ballots with perfectly filled-in ovals and no fold lines. All ballots in those batches appeared to be legitimate. “The secretar...

Bizarre Trump Letter Demands Georgia Officials Name ‘True Winner’ Of 2020 Election

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

In a letter sent on Friday, Donald Trump insisted that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger decertify President Joe Biden's election win based on Trump's obsession over (unsubstantiated) voter fraud claims. In not one, not two, but three separate recounts, it's been confirmed that Biden beat Trump in Georgia by 12,000 votes.

Surprising no one, the Trump letter is chock-full of lies and incorrect information. The letter, which was sent via email, accused both fellow Republican Raffensperger and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of "doing a tremendous disservice" to the state and nation. He describes the country as being "systemically" destroyed by an "illegitimate" president and urges that the "truth must be allowed to come out," as covered by the New York Daily News The truth is, of course, that Trump lost the election. And that he can't face reality.

"I would respectfully request that your department check this," the letter reads in part, in reference to a report of what he says are more than 40,000 absentee ballots in violation of the chain of custody rules. "And, if true, along with many other claims of voter fraud and voter irregularities, start the process of decertifying the 2020 Election, or whatever the correct legal remedy is, and announce the true winner."

Mind you, Georgia prosecutors are already investigating Trump's fervent attempts to overturn the election results, with the secretary of state's office looking into phone calls made by Trump, in which he attempted to pressure Raffernsperger into finding the votes needed to make him the winner.

"All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes," Trump told Raffernsperger during the now infamous January 2 phone call. Beyond this well-covered one-liner, criminal investigators have been gathering documents, interviewing folks, and building out contacts with congressional investigators in order to solidify a case against the national embarrassment.

"The Trump investigation is ongoing," Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told reporters per CNN. "As a district attorney, I do not have the right to look the other way on any crime that may have happened in my jurisdiction." Willis added that while she has a team dedicated to investigating Trump, her biggest priority is to keep "violent offenders off the street."

On the one hand, it's tempting to let Trump's endless hysteria fade into the background. Whether or not it's even worth it to give him national coverage is debatable; does it add or detract from how seriously voters take him? How does it impact the credibility with which people might believe his claims? At what point will people see Trump's blabbering for what it is: obsessive, baseless delusion with no evidence to back it up?

But the sad reality is Trump does have a fan base and his incessant fraud claims clearly made an impact on at least some folks in the United States. The biggest example? The mob that literally stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election win.