Trump’s call to ‘find’ votes was a threat: Georgian official – .

Trump’s call to ‘find’ votes was a threat: Georgian official – .

ATLANTA – Donald Trump was threatening Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger when he asked him to help “find” enough votes to reverse his defeat in Georgia to Democratic President Joe Biden, Raffensperger writes in a new book.

The book “Integrity Counts” was released on Tuesday. In this document, Raffensperger portrays a man who defied Trump’s pressure to change election results, but also reveals a public official who settles political accounts as he seeks to survive a hostile Republican primary environment and be re-elected in 2022.

An engineer who got rich before running for office, Raffensperger recounts in his book the struggle in Georgia that followed Biden’s narrow victory, including texting death threats to his wife, a meeting with men who , according to him, could have staked out his home in suburban Atlanta, and escorted out of the Georgia capital on January 6 as a handful of right-wing protesters entered the building the same day, many other protesters took storming the United States Capitol.

The book culminates with the phone call, which was taped and then given to several news outlets. Raffensperger – known as a conservative Republican before Trump targeted him – writes that he perceived Trump as threatening him several times during the phone call.

“I felt then – and I still believe today – that it was a threat,” writes Raffensperger. “Others obviously thought so too, as some of Trump’s more radical supporters responded as if it was their duty to follow through on this threat. “

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating potential attempts to improperly influence Georgia’s 2020 election. Raffensperger said in an interview with The Associated Press that Willis investigators spoke to some employees in his office, but he was not interviewed.

“They spoke to some of our people here. We have sent all the documents and she can now buy the book online, ”Raffensperger said of Willis.

Jeff DiSantis, spokesperson for Willis, said the investigation was ongoing.

“Any relevant information is part of the investigation, whether it’s a book, testimony before a congressional committee, or information we collect ourselves,” he said.

Trump spokespersons did not immediately respond to emails and a phone call asking for comment on Monday.

Raffensperger is targeting Republicans who attacked him, arguing they are damaging the GOP.

“When you eat your youngsters and go after people in your own party who are staunch, traditional Republicans, you destroy our future as a party,” writes Raffensperger.

He blames a defeat that hurt Trump’s ego, writing: “You believe in your heart that you’ve done a good job, and if you never run out of self-doubt, it must be doubly debilitating – and confusing. . Instead of accepting defeat, you seek scapegoats, reject blame, or seek alternative theories. “

Raffensperger said the book is intended to set the record straight by debunking allegations that the election results in Georgia were fraudulent. “I knew we had the facts and I knew that over time the truth would be revealed and believed,” he writes.

The author has also repeatedly attacked prominent Georgian Democrat Stacey Abrams, who has argued that the state is obstructing voting. Raffensperger argues that Abrams dodged her “separate obligation to avoid slandering our electoral system” when she admitted but refused to concede her narrow 2018 gubernatorial defeat to Republican Brian Kemp.

Raffensperger writes that “the corrosive effects of such lies continue to spread” and asserts that Abrams and other Democrats share “an far too bipartisan desire to undermine the integrity of our democracy.”

Abrams has repeatedly rejected Raffensperger’s comparison, saying his complaints relate to voters Republicans removed from the lists. Few Georgian Democrats today dispute that Kemp is the legitimate governor and none have resorted to violence.

The book ticks other boxes for Raffensperger’s reelection race. He extensively advocates for a legal regulation that sets standards for how the signatures of postal ballots are verified. Many Republicans have claimed without evidence that the change allows for fraudulent mail ballots.

Raffensperger also shoots U.S. Representative Jody Hice, a Trump-backed opponent of Georgia’s 2022 Republican primary for Secretary of State, saying Hice showed little interest in the administration of the elections until 2020.

“Ironically, Hice accepted the results of his own race, which he won, but opposed the results of the presidential race,” writes Raffensperger. “Same voters. Same ballots. One, presumably, was honest. The other was “defective and fraudulent”. He’s a double-minded person. How can you have two opposing views at the same time? “

Raffensperger also insists that electoral fraud is not systemic, writing: “Our elections are both fairer and more secure than they have been at any time in our history.

But he believes voters should choose leaders with more integrity, as the title of the book shows.

“If we do not have people of the highest personalities for elected office, we will continue to fight against disinformation, disinformation and outright deception, and the end result will be an erosion of public trust,” writes Raffensperger. “We need people in public office to continually fight for the noble causes of life with noble behavior. “


Associated Press editor Kate Brumback contributed to this report.


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