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Trump’s antics give investigators fodder for probe into his efforts to upend

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.

As Willis has delved into her Trump investigation, which she opened in February, she has made clear that she is looking into his activities surrounding the Georgia election. But she also plans to examine actions taken by Trump allies, including his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham and others, that may have aided his efforts.
The sprawling probe, which may soon be on a collision course with the upcoming midterm elections, has at times proved daunting even to those inside the district attorney’s office. But newly public records — including the Trump letter, a new book by Raffensperger and testimony released by a Senate panel investigating Trump’s election meddling — has helped define the road map for Georgia investigators.

“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’

Raffensperger’s new book, “Integrity Counts,” includes an annotated blow-by-blow of his now-infamous January call with the then-President, in which Raffensperger — a fellow Republican — notes at various points that he felt Trump was threatening him.

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.

“It is more illegal for you than it is for them, because, you know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer,” Trump said in the call, the audio of which CNN obtained earlier this year.

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.

'It's absolutely getting worse': Secretaries of state targeted by Trump election lies live in fear for their safety and are desperate for protection

“I could hear that he thought that he could have some kind of pressure to bear from outside forces to make our life…

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