Trump, still stewing over his 2020 loss and eying a run in 2024, has continued to bellow complaints about the results of the last presidential election and insert himself into Peach State politics. And his antics have provided new fodder for Fulton County investigators as they examine whether his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results were criminal.
Trump regaled his adoring fans at a September rally with a reenactment of his attempts last December to convince Kemp to hold a special election in the state, one of Trump’s last-ditch efforts to try to reverse the Georgia results.
After Kemp rebuffed multiple Trump aides who apparently tried to convince him to announce a special election, Trump said, he decided it was time to step in.
“So I said, ‘Let me handle it. This is easy.’ I got this guy elected,” Trump told the rally crowd, while insisting he wasn’t looking for a quid pro quo. “I said, ‘Brian, listen, you have a big election integrity problem in Georgia. I hope you can help us out and call a special election and let’s get to the bottom of it for the good of the country.'”
Kemp, in the December call with Trump, refused.
“He’s a disaster,” Trump told the crowd.
Meanwhile, investigators were quietly taking notes, a person familiar with the matter said, of the repeated attempts Trump and his allies made to try to pressure Kemp to announce another election — all recounted in Trump’s own words.
“All relevant information, whether gathered by our office, another investigative body or made public by witnesses themselves, is part of the ongoing investigation,” said Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for the Fulton County district attorney’s office.
‘It was nothing but an attempt at manipulation’
At one point in the call Trump insisted, inaccurately, that some ballots were corrupt and then baselessly suggested the secretary of state’s office wasn’t reporting the corrupted ballots.
Raffensperger writes that in that moment, “Now President Trump is using what he believes is the power of his position to threaten [General Counsel 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.”
In an interview with CNN, Raffensperger said he worried about whether Trump could somehow weaponize the Department of Justice or the FBI against him and others in his office.
“I could hear that he thought that he could have some kind of pressure to bear from outside forces to make our life…