I’ve listened to most of it now and the media has completely and dishonestly mischaracterized it. The discussion is about “finding” invalid votes. They are the claims about categories of invalid votes itemized in the pending lawsuit. https://t.co/zl8E7j8cJz
— shipwreckedcrew (@shipwreckedcrew) January 4, 2021
By RAHEEM KASSAM
“I don’t know about that… I don’t have it in front of me… we’re looking into that…”
These weren’t the vague, non-committal words of the President of the United States on the phone call leaked by theWashington Post newspaper – which has recently taken millions of dollars from the Chinese Communist Party – this Sunday. They were the statements of the establishment Republicans on the call: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Ryan Germany, and Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs on the January 2nd call.
Despite the partisan framing from the Washington Post – that the call somehow reflected Trump making demands for votes from his Republican colleagues – the President actually does no such thing. Throughout the call, the President makes clear that his calls are for election transparency, full and transparent audits, and public access. At no point does the President imply he wants votes invented or confected, as the establishment media is portraying. He even offers to recuse himself from parts of the conversation and ends by asking for “the truth… it’s just that simple.”
In fact the President begins the call by ripping through specifics that are never addressed by their opponents on the call: the establishment Republicans. Trump states:
- “We have at least 2 or 3 — anywhere from 250 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures — a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County — you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged.”
- He continues: “We had, I believe it’s about 4,502 voters who voted but who weren’t on the voter registration list, so it’s 4,502 who voted, but they weren’t on the voter registration roll, which they had to be. You had 18,325 vacant address voters. The address was vacant, and they’re not allowed to be counted. That’s 18,325.”
- And the President went on: “You had out-of-state voters. They voted in Georgia, but they were from out of state, of 4,925. You had absentee ballots sent to vacant, they were absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses. They had nothing on them about addresses, that’s 2,326.”
The level of granularity was actually remarkable, especially for a President that the media continues to allege is not concerned with details.
And the pushback from Raffensberger’s team wasn’t even particularly punchy, which is presumably why they leaked the call instead of pressing ahead with the details discussed and requested. There are several key points in the call that reflect the bad faith of Georgia’s Republican establishment leaders:
1. Fulton County
The President and his team repeatedly raise alleged violations in Fulton County, specifically charging Raffensberger and team with pivoting to Cobb County without addressing the more densely populated Fulton.
President Trump says here: “You sent us into Cobb County, which we didn’t want to go into. And you said it would be open to the public. So we had our experts there, they weren’t allowed into the room. But we didn’t want Cobb County. We wanted Fulton County. And you wouldn’t give it to us. Now, why aren’t we doing signature — and why can’t it be open to the public?”
In response, lawyer Ryan Germany simply replies: “We chose Cobb County because that was the only county where there’s been any evidence submitted that the signature verification was not properly done.”
Not just an admission of wrongdoing in the state, but also an admission of selectively apply rigorous standards and refusing to allow the President’s team into the most populated county in the state.
2. The ‘Consent Decree’
This has to do with the agreement signed by Republicans and Democrats in advance of the election, and why President Trump said far-left Georgia activist Stacey Abrams had “outplayed” Republicans by getting them to sign an unconstitutional agreement. The agreement itself is a word salad (read it for yourself) about what constitutes signature matching on ballots. If no side intended to defraud the election, one might argue no such “agreement” would have been required.
Instead of addressing this directly, Raffensberger and Germany set out to nitpick over the term “consent decree” which has been used repeatedly across national, state, and local media to describe the agreement. Even lawyers in opposition to Trump have used the term.
Raffensberger simply states, during the whole exchange: “It’s a settlement agreement.” His colleague Ryan Germany skirts the crux of the matter, too: “I don’t. I don’t. I don’t believe [it’s a consent decree], but I don’t have it in front of me.”
3. GA Lawyers Refusing Further Transparency.
Toward the end of the call Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is heard to say: “It sounds like we’ve got two different sides agreeing that we can look at those areas, and I assume that we can do that within the next 24 to 48 hours, to go ahead and get that reconciled so that we can look at the two claims and making sure that we get the access to the secretary of state’s data to either validate or invalidate the claims that have been made. Is that correct?”
Germany quips back immediately: “No, that’s not what I said,” and attempts to shut down the idea of further enquiries into the Georgia vote totals.
When a lawyer for the President, Kurt Hilbert, suggests, “the secretary of state could deputize the lawyers for the president so that we could access that information and private information without you having any kind of violation?” the President rightly excuses himself from knowing more, stating: “I don’t want to know who it is. You guys can do it very confidentially. You can sign a confidentiality agreement. That’s okay. I don’t need to know names.”