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Tag: rudy giuliani

Believe It Or Not, Giuliani Once Had A Finest Hour

Rudolph Giuliani was always somewhat off-center, even in his glory days as New York City mayor. But people who recall him then were stunned by his decline into a conspiracy-mongering swamp creature of Trump world. The 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 lets us remember that on that day of horror, Giuliani was on the chaotic scene, passing out courage and hope.

At 10 a.m. on 9/11, I was in New York on a train being kept underground in Penn Station. The two planes had just hit the World Trade Center.

The conductor came on the loudspeaker telling us repeatedly that "this is the safest place you can be right now." We didn't all have cellphones then, but a guy in the back of the car did and informed us that the Pentagon had been hit and the first tower, and then the second, had come down. The conductor asked us to pray for the people in the World Trade Center.

We were scared and shuddered imagining the terror downtown. We didn't know at that point who did it, why or whether they had stopped. We wanted to get out of town, but the train wasn't going anywhere because the tunnels were being searched for bombs.

The conductor came on one last time and told us to stay calm, take our bags and leave the train. We ascended into the light and a totally transformed city, country and world.

A public filled with dread needed consoling. President George W. Bush was incommunicado most of the day. But Giuliani was there among the smoking debris, the only visible political figure offering solace and, even more importantly, reassurance that life would go on.

He spoke eloquently about the collective grief. Asked how many had died, he said, "The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear."

But he also pleaded with New Yorkers to keep faith in the future. "Tomorrow, New York is going to be here," he said.

The most calming thing he said that afternoon, though, was that two of the subway lines were again operating and named which ones. Yes, it was going to be OK.

Giuliani became "America's Mayor," hailed as the ash-covered leader of 9/11. Time magazine made him "Person of the Year," and Queen Elizabeth gave him an honorary knighthood.

The backstory of Giuliani's role in 9/11 was less inspiring. One reason he became the hero of the streets was that he had pushed to place the Office of Emergency Management headquarters in the worst possible location, on the 23rd floor inside the 7 World Trade Center building. The office was created in response to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and the site was considered among the top targets for terrorists.

Giuliani has long had a strained relationship with the truth but went over the deep end in 2019 by peddling a theory that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. He forever disgraced himself by pushing lies that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump — culminating in his speech on Jan. 6, calling on Trump supporters to engage in "trial by combat" right before they ravaged the capital.

Giuliani had already fallen far. In 2018, he attended a game at Yankee Stadium, and when the announcer said, "The New York Yankees wish a very happy birthday to Mayor Giuliani," the crowd burst out with boos.

There's been much speculation about what happened to him. In New York City, he could have had bridges, roads and schools named for him. All that's left is a memory of Giuliani's finest hour urging battle against fear in the darkness of 9/11.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com

Igor Fruman, Former Associate Of Giuliani, Will Plead Guilty

(Reuters) - Igor Fruman, a former associate of Rudolph Giuliani, told a New York court hearing on Friday he will plead guilty to one criminal count in a campaign finance case.

Fruman worked to collect damaging information about Joe Biden before he became president. Giuliani, a one-time lawyer for former President Donald Trump, has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing although he is under federal investigation in the Southern District of New York.

(Reporting by Jon Stempel in New York and writing by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware)

Will Prosecutors Indict Mark Meadows For Trying To Overturn The Election?

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows may face "significant criminal exposure" for his prominent role in pressuring the Justice Department (DOJ) to overturn the free and fair 2020 election, according to a timeline published by Just Security and a criminal complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

CREW filed their complaint against both Meadows and Trump last week, claiming the two violated a "criminal civil rights law" and "criminal provisions of the Hatch Act" in their attempt to effort to overturn the election.

"Government officials who try to subvert our republic and undermine democratic rule must be held accountable to the full extent of the criminal law," said CREW President Noah Bookbinder.

The Just Security timeline depicts those offenses in vivid detail.

Meadows And Giuliani

Throughout the course of the extraordinary effort to overturn the election Meadows worked with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

First contact reportedly started on or around November 12, 2020. According to Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker's book I Alone Can Fix It, Giuliani asked Meadows to investigate claims that allege tens of thousands of "illegal aliens" may have voted in Arizona. Of course, this was debunked— in reality, it was U.S. citizens living abroad who voted legally.

Giuliani and Meadows also created a “parallel track" while Trump's campaign set up a team in Georgia -- a state Biden won despite its history of being a red state, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

“A parallel track was underway from the Oval Office where Giuliani and Meadows, who was just returning to work after being sidelined by Covid, started bringing in their own people," writes Bender in his book Frankly, We Did Win This Election.

CREW alleges that in those first few weeks after the election Meadows, Giuliani, and other Trump aides “began a coordinated multi-state campaign to prevent states from counting legal ballots (or to throw out already- counted legal ballots)."

Not 'Sufficiently Loyal'

Meadows also played a significant role in the firing or discrediting of federal officials who pushed back against the administration's outlandish claims of voter fraud— Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper was the first to fall victim. On November 9, 2020, Meadows called Esper to say "the president's not happy… And we don't think you're sufficiently loyal. You're going to be replaced. He's going to announce it this afternoon," according to Leonnig and Rucker.

Lo and behold, four minutes later, Trump tweets: "I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately."

In mid-November or December, Meadows introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, whom DOJ officials say “was putting together a secret plan to oust Rosen, the acting attorney general, and force Georgia to overturn its results," according to Bender's book. Meadows denies involvement. He also connected Trump and former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin, who came up with the theory that former Vice President Mike Pence could stop the certification of Biden, according to the New York Times.

Leonnig and Rucker's book quoted one senior official saying, Meadows facilitated the president's being "exposed to crazy people spouting lunatic theories about the election and his ability to overturn it. That is all Meadows."

'We're Going To Get The President There'

It was around this time that Meadows acknowledged to the White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah that he knows Trump lost the election.

"We need to give a graceful exit and acknowledge that Biden won," Farah tells Meadows.

"I know, I know," Meadows responded. "We're going to get the president there."

But not only could Meadows never "get the president there," according to Leonnig and Rucker, "There wasn't any indication that he had even tried."

In fact, it was mere days after this that Meadows expressed his displeasure with former Attorney General William Barr for telling the Associated Press, "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

Leonnig and Rucker report that Barr was surprised Meadows "hated" the news story.

"Meadows sat silently on the opposite side of the dining room, with his arms crossed, a posture that seemed to say, This is DOJ's problem," the two write.

Georgia

At this point, Meadows and Trump were laser focused on Georgia. On December 22, 2020, Meadows took a trip to observe an absentee ballot audit and met with Frances Watson, the lead elections investigator in the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

A day later, Trump gets on the phone with Watson, urging her to find "dishonesty" to overturn the election and says she will be "praised" for doing so, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump also said it was Meadows who told him to contact her.

"Well you have a big fan in our great chief, right? Chief of staff, Mark," said Trump.

Shortly after this, Meadows "began a separate element of the pressure campaign on DOJ," telling acting Attorney General Rosen to focus on "wrongdoing" in Georgia, according to CREW's complaint.

On January 1, Meadows followed up on allegations "of signature match anomalies" in Fulton County, Georgia.

"Get [Assistant Attorney General] Jeffrey Clark to engage on this issue immediately," he wrote in an email to Rosen.

The next morning, Assistant Attorney General Clark confirmed to Rosen that he "spoke to the source and [was] on [a call] with the guy who took the video," adding that he was "[w]orking on it" and that there was "[m]ore due diligence to do."

"The pressure campaign appeared to have some immediate impact," says the complaint.

Hours later, Trump, Meadows, and other associates made the infamous phone call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election

Section 241

In their complaint, CREW first alleges that Trump and Meadows committed civil rights violations, specifically breaking Conspiracy against rights, or Section 241.

Section 241 makes it illegal for two or more persons to "conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States."

"The right to vote for federal offices and the right to have one's vote fairly counted are among the rights secured by Article I, Sections 2 and 4, of the Constitution, and hence protected by Section 241," reads the complaint.

They violated Section 241 by:

Conducting a coordinated campaign to prevent states from counting legal ballots.

Firing or publicly discrediting federal officials who refuted the narrative of purported voter fraud and a stolen election.

Threatening and attempting to intimidate state officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger, to take steps to overturn the results of the election in their states.

Pressuring DOJ officials to file the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that, if successful, would have overturned the election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Pressuring Attorney General Barr and Acting Attorney General Rosen to use DOJ resources to help investigate false allegations of fraud in Michigan and Georgia.

Attempting to fire Acting Attorney General Rosen for refusing to direct the DOJ to support the election fraud claims.

"The ultimate object of the conspiracy was to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights by changing the legal result of the 2020 election," states the complaint.

Hatch Act

The Hatch Act protects federal funds, employees, and programs from political manipulation, according to the CREW.

The complaint notes that criminal prosecutions under the Hatch Act are rare, but not unprecedented. CREW believes that the "egregious" conduct of Trump and Meadows warrants charges under Coercion of political activity – 18 U.S.C. § 610 and Interference in Election by Employees of Federal or State Governments – 18 U.S.C. § 595.

Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 610:

President Trump's verbal abuse of Attorney General Barr for publicly renouncing his election fraud allegations as meritless, causing him to resign, firing CISA Director Krebs, and causing U.S. Attorney Pak to resign, all of which sent the message to others to pursue the allegations or get out.

President Trump's pressure on DOJ officials, including Acting Attorney General Rosen, to support lawsuits seeking to overturn his election loss and to appoint a special counsel to investigate Dominion Voting Systems.

President Trump's pressure on DOJ officials to file the Supreme Court complaint that sought to throw out election results in six states.

Using Mr. Olsen to further apply pressure on Acting Attorney General Rosen and DOJ officials to file the Supreme Court lawsuit through repeated emails and phone calls.

Mr. Meadows' pressure on DOJ officials to investigate various dubious claims of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, including through multiple emails sent to Mr. Rosen.

President Trump's attempt to fire Acting Attorney General Rosen and replace him with Assistant Attorney General Clark, including at the January 3 "high- stakes meeting" at the White House.

President Trump's pressure to fire U.S. Attorney Pak, which resulted in his resignation.
They broke 18 U.S.C. § 595 by:
President Trump's use of his official authority as President to verbally abuse Attorney General Barr, causing him to resign, fire CISA Director Krebs, and cause U.S. Attorney Pak to resign, all for not having more vigorously pursued or supported President Trump's meritless claims of election fraud.

President Trump's use of his official authority as President to pressure Acting Attorney General Rosen to pursue meritless election fraud claims and baseless lawsuits in a White House meeting.

President Trump's use of his White House personal assistant and her official White House email account to send DOJ officials materials alleging election fraud in Michigan, and the draft Supreme Court complaint.

Mr. Meadows' use of his official authority as the White House chief of staff to pressure Acting Attorney General Rosen to authorize DOJ investigations into allegations of election fraud in multiple states, including the request that he assign Mr. Clark to investigate the Georgia election fraud allegations.

Mr. Meadows' use of his official White House email account to convey various baseless allegations of election fraud to DOJ officials.

"Democracy is a precious thing," CREW concludes, adding, "It is your duty, as servants of our Constitution and protectors of our unique experiment in self-governance, to ensure that this perversion of our institutions of government never happens again. The only way to do so is to hold the perpetrators, regardless of their former positions, accountable under the laws they swore to uphold and sought to subvert."

Be Grateful For Trump's Comical Incompetence And Clown Henchmen

When push comes to shove, it may be Donald Trump's sheer, malign incompetence that saves the Republic. The more evidence accumulates about his crackpot schemes to overthrow the 2020 presidential election, the more they resemble the plot line of one of Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder novels about a career criminal whose elaborate heists go hilariously wrong.

My favorite is Bank Shot, in which Dortmunder's intrepid gang hauls away one of those temporary mobile home banks one night only to realize—uh oh!—that Long Island is, indeed, an island, and that the cops have already blockaded the bridges. In the end, the fool thing rolls downhill and sinks into the Atlantic Ocean. There's a funny film version starring George C. Scott.

Just so: Trump's post-election scam featuring the likes of Ohio Rep, "Gym" Jordan, aka the Very Angry Congressman, and co-starring the mustachioed MyPillow guy and a bunch of comically-inept lawyers who have lost 64 consecutive court cases. Also featuring Rudolph W. Giuliani as A Guy Who Used to Be Somebody until he discovered the wonder-working powers of single-malt Scotch.

(A confession: I too once felt spray-on hair dye running down my face during a sweaty interlude masquerading as a blond professional wrestling heel. I was in the eighth grade.)

Ordinarily, Trump exhibits the low cunning of a Mob boss. Rule One is: never write anything down. It's clearly because he sends no emails or written directives that Trump himself has so far escaped New York tax fraud charges. The law requires proof of corrupt intent, and as long as nobody rats him out, the boss can plead ignorance.

If you believe that Donald J. Trump, a guy who stiffs pretty much everybody he's ever done business with (and currently refuses to pay Giuliani's legal fees) was unaware of Trump Organization tax avoidance scams exactly like those he learned from dear old Dad…

Well, you probably also believe that he won the 2020 election in a landslide. So let's move on.

Rule Two in the mob boss handbook is this: Never talk about it over the phone. That's one we've seen the big dope violate often. He's constitutionally incapable of keeping his mouth shut. First, when he tried to shake down the President of Ukraine into announcing a phony investigation of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

That one got him impeached, if not convicted.

Second, when he phoned Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger last January 2 urging him to "find" enough votes to overturn Trump's 11,779-vote defeat there.

"I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have," he said. "Because we won the state." Unwilling to cheat, Raffensberger recorded the call. The Washington Post soon had a copy.

Trump also tried to bully Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Arizona's Doug Ducey. Both resisted. Republican legislators in Michigan and Wisconsin also refused to play ball. All now face Trump-endorsed primary opponents.

Attorney General William Barr resigned in December, using a barnyard epithet to describe the quality of Trump's evidence of fraud.

An ordinary con man would back off and start planning his comeback. As the lamest of lame ducks, Trump had no power to make anybody do anything that conflicted with their principles or self-interest.

Lacking ethics of his own, he's blind to those of others. So he tried strong-arming acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen, and deputy, Richard P. Donoghue over the phone.

As any competent lawyer would, Donoghue took notes.

DOJ lawyers, he wrote "Told [Trump] flat out that much of the info he is getting is false, +/or just not supported by the evidence—we look at allegations but they do not pan out." They told Trump that DOJ had neither the constitutional authority nor any intention of interfering in a presidential election.

Like some QAnon crank in his grandma's basement, Trump persevered: "Don't expect you to do that, just say that the election was corrupt, he insisted, and "leave the rest to me and the R[epublican] Congressmen."

Clearer evidence of criminal intent would be hard to find. Trump meant to overturn the election by any means possible. Exactly how much proof can be found of White House involvement in raising the January 6 mob remains to be seen. But the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers didn't just decide on a mid-winter camping trip.

Trump told the gathering mob that they needed to march to the Capitol and "fight like hell, or you won't have a country anymore." He vowed to march with them. Fat chance. He quickly retreated into the White House to enjoy the spectacle on TV.

So now the portly con man in elevator shoes has been quoted calling the cops who fought hours of hand-to-hand combat while the mob chanted "Kill Mike Pence" "pussies" and "cowards."

One thing you can bank on: He'll never say it to their faces.

New York Court Suspends Giuliani’s Law License Over Election Lies

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rudy Giuliani was suspended on Thursday from practicing law in New York State, after a panel of judges found he violated the professional rules of conduct in his effort to overturn former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss.

"We conclude that there is uncontroverted evidence that respondent communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump's failed effort at reelection in 2020," the judges' decision read.

They continued, "We conclude that respondent's conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law."

Giuliani can fight the interim suspension. However, the judges wrote that his conduct was egregious enough that it would likely "result in substantial permanent sanctions" and decided to suspend his license until a full investigation could be completed.

Giuliani's suspension marks a stunning fall from grace for the former New York City mayor, who once served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York — one of the most prestigious federal court districts in the country, which prosecutes some of the most high profile financial crimes and terror cases.

The decision was scathing, saying Giuliani lied multiple times about everything from dead people voting to the number of absentee ballots cast as part of his campaign to overturn Trump's loss.

It also said Giuliani's "misconduct directly inflamed tensions that bubbled over into the events of January 6, 2021 in this nation's Capitol," referring to the pro-Trump insurrection that resulted in several deaths, tens of millions of dollars in damage and repairs, and federal charges against at least 500 people.

The decision also pointed to Giuliani's disastrous appearance before a federal court in Pennsylvania — in which the Trump campaign sought to overturn Trump's election loss in the state — as a violation of New York's Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers.

Giuliani, they said, "repeatedly represented to the court that his client, the plaintiff, was pursuing a fraud claim, when indisputably it was not." The decision added that Giuliani's "mischaracterization of the case was not simply a passing mistake or inadvertent reference. Fraud was the crown of his personal argument before the court that day."

The judges similarly cited Giuliani's now infamous press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, during which he claimed that champion boxer Joe Frazier was "still voting" in Pennsylvania despite being dead. That allegation, unsurprisingly, turned out to be false.

"The public records submitted on this motion unequivocally show that [Giuliani's] statement is false," the judges' decision read. "Public records show that Pennsylvania formally cancelled Mr. Frazier's eligibility to vote on February 8, 2012, three months after he died."

Giuliani told the court that he didn't know his statement was false. The court disagreed.

"As for respondent's argument that his misstatements were unknowing, respondent fails to provide a scintilla of evidence for any of the varying and wildly inconsistent numbers of dead people he factually represented voted in Philadelphia during the 2020 presidential election," the judges wrote.

Giuliani is currently facing other legal challenges for his role in trying to overturn Trump's loss.

Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion lawsuit against Giuliani in late January, claiming he had lied about the voting machine company and had pushed false claims that its tech had been rigged to swing the election for President Joe Biden.

Smartmatic USA, another voting machine company, also filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Giuliani, as well as Fox News and fellow lawyer Sidney Powell, in February, claiming he and Trump's allies had knowingly pushed damaging conspiracies about the company in their attempt to overturn the election.

Giuliani's lawyers responded to the court's decision on Thursday, saying in a statement that the move to suspend him was "unprecedented as we believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest."

"We believe that once the issues are fully explored at a hearing, Mr. Giuliani will be reinstated as a valued member of the legal profession that he has served so well in his many capacities for so many years," they added.

Correction: This article was updated to note that Giuliani served previously as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, not district attorney.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

‘Pure Insanity’: Emails Show Trump Urging Justice Officials To Overturn 2020 Election

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Emails released on Tuesday reveal just how far former President Donald Trump went to pressure the Department of Justice to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden, with everyone from Trump's personal assistant to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows contacting top Justice officials to ask them to back up Trump's wild lies about voter fraud and even file lawsuits to invalidate the results of multiple states.

The emails were part of a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which found that multiple top Trump aides and allies reached out to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen asking him to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to overturn the results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada — all states Biden won.

Another email showed that Meadows tried to push Rosen to "look into" baseless and absurd allegations from an ally of Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani that Italy used military technology to switch votes from Trump to Biden. And yet another email revealed that Meadows sought to force Rosen to look into "allegations of signature match anomalies in Fulton County, Ga."

The emails show Rosen was aghast at the pressure campaign.

"Can you believe this? I am not going to respond to the message below," Rosen wrote in an email to acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue of Meadow's demand that Rosen "engage" with the signature mismatch lie.

Rosen also said he "flatly refused" to meet with the Giuliani ally who was pushing the absurd Italy conspiracy theory, stating he "would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' and re-affirmed yet again that I will not talk to Giuliani about any of this."

Donoghue called the efforts from the White House and other Trump aides to get them to aid in the effort to overturn the election "pure insanity."

Ultimately, the Department of Justice never filed any lawsuits to overturn the election.

And the band of crackpot Trump supporters who did file lawsuits — such as Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood — all lost their lawsuits seeking to overturn the results. In fact, Giuliani and Powell now face libel lawsuits from voting machine companies that could put them in financial ruin. Powell also faces the possibility of court-ordered sanctions.

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney wrote in a news release that the emails provide proof that Trump engaged in "a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost."

"Those who aided or witnessed President Trump's unlawful actions must answer the Committee's questions about this attempted subversion of democracy," Maloney (D-NY) wrote.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Lies Spurred Wave Of Death Threats Against Georgia Official — And His Family

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

After the New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported, on June 1, that former President Donald Trump believes he will be "reinstated" as president by August, many Trump critics — from liberals and progressives to Never Trump conservatives — warned that his delusions could inspire more attacks like the January 6 insurrection as well as an increase in threats against officials. The death threats, harassment and intimidation that election workers have been receiving from Trump supporters is the focus of in-depth article published by Reuters this week, and reporter Linda So shows that the abuse continues months after Trump's departure from the White House.

In her report, So emphasizes that the election workers who have suffered ongoing abuse range from high-level officials such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (a conservative Republican) to low-level and mid-level election workers. Raffensperger, following the 2020 presidential election, infuriated Trump and his allies — including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and far-right attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — by maintaining that now-President Joe Biden won Georgia fairly and that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the state as Trump claimed. And Raffensperger, along with his wife Tricia Raffensperger, have been inundated with death threats ever since

So reports that on April 5, Tricia Raffensperger received a text message saying that a family member was "going to have a very unfortunate incident" — and that message was followed by one in mid-April saying, "We plan for the death of you and your family every day." Then, on April 24,

she received a text message saying, "You and your family will be killed very slowly."

Tricia Raffensperger, who is 65, told Reuters that because of all the death threats, she decided it was no longer safe for her grandchildren to visit her home. The Georgia secretary of state's wife explained, "I couldn't have them come to my house anymore. You don't know if these people are actually going to act on this stuff."

The 66-year-old Brad Raffensperger told Reuters, "Vitriol and threats are an unfortunate, but expected, part of public service. But my family should be left alone."

Georgia's secretary of state is hardly the only major election official who has been receiving death threats from Trump supporters. Others have ranged from Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who is part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration, to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

So explains, "Trump's relentless false claims that the vote was 'rigged' against him sparked a campaign to terrorize election officials nationwide, from senior officials such as Raffensperger to the lowest-level local election workers. The intimidation has been particularly severe in Georgia, where Raffensperger and other Republican election officials refuted Trump's stolen-election claims. The ongoing harassment could have far-reaching implications for future elections by making the already difficult task of recruiting staff and poll workers much harder, election officials say."

In Georgia, So observes, the "intimidation" has "gone well beyond Raffensperger and his family." The Reuters reporter notes that in Georgia, "Election workers, from local volunteers to senior administrators, continue enduring regular harassing phone calls and e-mails, according to interviews with election workers and the Reuters review of texts, e-mails and audio files provided by Georgia officials."

Trump-inspired death threats are terrorizing election workers www.youtube.com

Richard Barron, elections director for Fulton County, Georgia, told Reuters that his predominantly African-American staff has received hundreds of threats along with racial slurs. Barron told Reuters, "The racial slurs were disturbing and sickening." And one of the targets was Ralph Jones, who is part of Barron's staff and oversaw mail-in ballot operations in Fulton County (which includes Atlanta) in 2020. Jones told Reuters, "It was unbelievable: your life being threatened just because you're doing your job."

Carlos Nelson, elections supervisor for Ware County, Georgia, believes that the United States is facing a dire situation when poll workers are fearing for their safety.

Nelson told Reuters, "These are people who work for little or no money, 12 to 14 hours a day on Election Day. If we lose good poll workers, that's when we're going to lose democracy."

After Reuters published So's article, election law expert Richard L. Hasen quoted it extensively on his Election Law Blog and described it as a "must-read."

Here are some of the many reactions to the article on Twitter:

Emails Reveal Trump And Giuliani Pushed Arizona ‘Audit’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani personally contacted Arizona's Republican state Senate President Karen Fann to urge her to move forward with the state's controversial election audit despite having no substantial evidence of voter fraud, emails show.

According to The Washington Post, hundreds of pages of email correspondence regarding the Maricopa County, Arizona audit were obtained by the government watchdog group American Oversight under the Freedom of Information Act. The emails, which reportedly include conversations between Trump, Giuliani, and Fann, also reveal details about the former president's push for the audit along with his praise of the Arizona state official for adhering to his request.

In fact, one email sent by Fann highlights where she indicated that she'd spoken with Giuliani a total of "at least 6 times over the past two weeks." She also noted that she'd personally spoken with the former president.

"I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy Guiliani [sic] over the past weeks trying to get this done," Fann wrote an email on December 28. "I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud."

In one email, Fann had also asked the former president for evidence of "rampant fraud" so a lawsuit could be filed to halt the certification of election results, but it appears that evidence was never provided.

"No suit has been filed nor was a suit filed to contest the certification process," Fann wrote. "I also want to get to the bottom of all this."

The emails also suggest Fann has spent a lot of her time doing damage control to placate her disgruntled constituents. On April, a woman named Rachel Griffin emailed Fann with questions about the impending audit as she delivered a stern ultimatum to lawmakers.

"We are not going to be treated like idiots. We will make sure none of you are ever re-elected again unless you prove there was fraud," Griffin wrote. "It is no longer acceptable for all of you to pay lip service. We want results and we want them now."

American Oversight executive director Austin Evers has weighed in on the newly-obtained emails. According to the publication, Evers said the emails are "clear evidence that the goal of the audit was to erode trust in the voting process and to further legitimize Trump's "Big Lie."

"The more we learn, the more it becomes clear that this is not an audit, it's a sham partisan crusade carried out by some of the most cynical actors our democracy has ever known," Evers said in a statement. "With each new email, the paper trail confirms that the true goal of this process is to perpetuate Donald Trump's big lie of a stolen election and to undermine faith in our democracy."