Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Trump’s Georgia Shakedown A Preparatory For January 6 Insurrection

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

The transcript of then-President Trump’s hour-long call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is too lengthy to duplicate here, per se, but suffice it to say, it all boiled down to this oft-repeated remark by Trump during the call:

“The ballots are corrupt, and they’re brand new, and they don’t have seals, and there’s a whole thing with the ballots. But the ballots are corrupt. And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal — 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.

“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”

The audio and transcript of the call may be read and heard at several sites, but here are two:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-post-has-published-trumps-full-phone-call-with-georgia-election-officials-listen-to-the-audio-and-read-the-transcript/ar-BB1crmJx

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/03/politics/trump-brad-raffensperger-phone-call-transcript/index.html

The call, which occurred on a Saturday afternoon, January 2, 2021, is a classic example of a shakedown.

In common parlance, the term “shakedown” refers to a criminal activity, describing extortion of money, as by blackmail. It is the preferred and primary definition in most reputable, and modern dictionaries.

Even the “Urban Dictionary,” a repository of modern colloquial use acknowledges similarly, but takes it at least one step further, by also acknowledging context of usage by writing that shakedown is,

“Another word for extortion/blackmail, or the obtaining of a good or service through means of force, threats/intimidation, or abuse of power.
Shakedown by force, threats and intimidation:

“Shakedown by abuse of power:”

Only one other dictionary acknowledges that capacity by writing that shakedown refers to “extortion, as by blackmail or threats of violence.”

Merriam-Webster defines it as “to rob by the use of trickery or threats.”

The Online Slang Dictionary finds similarly, by writing that it means “to extort. That is, to obtain something via force, threats, intimidation, abuse of power, etc.”

Abuse of power by threats – such as when he made no effort to soft-pedal or contradict things that his son Don, Jr. said at the pre-insurrection “Save America March” at The White House Ellipse park – directly in line of sight of the White House – that,

“To those Republicans, many of which may be voting on things in the coming hours: You have an opportunity today. You can be a hero, or you can be a zero. And the choice is yours. But we are all watching. The whole world is watching, folks. Choose wisely. These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m going to be in your backyard in a couple of months!”

He further threatened saying that it, “should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight. The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them: This isn’t their Republican Party anymore! This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party!”

But Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is the ONLY man with INTEGRITY who refused to bend the knee to the tyrant.

While Trump’s weak-willed sycophant RINOs will undoubtedly vote to acquit him in his SECOND impeachment – thus prohibiting him from ever holding any office ever again in the United States (maybe Russia has an opportunity for him) – an acquittal will NOT absolve him of any responsibility or guilt for other crimes he may have committed at the state level.


https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/537901-georgia-officials-open-inquiry-into-trump-efforts-to-overturn-election

Georgia Officials Open Inquiry Into Trump Efforts To Overturn Election Results
By Morgan Chalfant
02/08/21 06:01 PM EST

The Georgia secretary of state’s office is investigating former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results in the Peach State, which included a phone call he placed to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in early January.

Walter Jones, a spokesman for the office, confirmed the probe in a Monday statement and described it as “fact-finding and administrative.”

“The Secretary of State’s office investigates complaints it receives. The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature,” Jones said. “Any further legal efforts will be left to the Attorney General.”

The investigation is likely to focus in part on a Jan. 2 phone call in which Trump pressed Raffensberger to “find” the votes necessary to overturn his electoral loss in Georgia and issued veiled threats.

“The ballots are corrupt, and they’re brand new, and they don’t have seals, and there’s a whole thing with the ballots. But the ballots are corrupt. And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal — 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 during the hourlong phone call.

“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” he continued.

Trump in the months following the election falsely claimed that he won Georgia, despite numerous recounts showing that President Biden narrowly won the state.

Georgia was among multiple states where Trump’s lawyers unsuccessfully filed lawsuits to challenge the results. Gabriel Sterling, a top Georgia elections official, repeatedly and publicly pushed back on Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud.

Trump in December also pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to convene a special legislative session to overturn the results, a demand Kemp did not obey. Trump has publicly targeted Kemp, calling for him to resign and face a primary in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

Meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) is deciding whether to open a criminal inquiry into Trump’s efforts to overturn the results in Georgia, according to The New York Times.


Georgia Secretary Of State’s Office Launches Investigation Into Trump’s Phone Call
By Jason Morris, CNN
January 8, 2021

The office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed to CNN on Monday that it has started an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the state’s election results, including a phone call the former President made to Raffensperger.

During the call, Trump pushed Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election results after his loss to then-President-elect Joe Biden, according to an audio recording first released by The Washington Post and later obtained by CNN.

“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” Trump had said.

Raffensperger was adamant in defending the results of the presidential election as well as the integrity of the state’s voting system. During the stunning one-hour call, Trump lambasted his fellow Republican for refusing to falsely say that he won the election in Georgia — and repeatedly touted baseless claims of election fraud.

There have been no credible allegations of any issues with voting that would have impacted the election, as affirmed by dozens of judges, governors, election officials, the Electoral College, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Supreme Court.

There have been no credible allegations of any issues with voting that would have impacted the election, as affirmed by dozens of judges, governors, election officials, the Electoral College, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Supreme Court.

Walter Jones, a spokesperson for Raffensperger, told CNN in a written statement that “the Secretary of State’s office investigates complaints it receives. The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature. Any further legal efforts will be left to the Attorney General.” Reuters was first to report on the investigation.

The announcement of the investigation comes as arguments are set to get underway Tuesday in Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, in which he is facing a single charge of inciting an insurrection after a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6. The insurrection — in which five people died, including US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick — was an attempt by thousands of Trump supporters to interfere with Congress counting the electoral votes confirming Biden’s win and was the zenith of months of Trump promoting conspiracy theories and lies that the election was stolen from him. The House impeachment managers are planning to use the call with Raffensperger and the months-long campaign to overturn Biden’s win as part of their case during the trial.

A Georgia prosecutor’s office is taking the extraordinary January 2 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger “seriously as far as a potential case,” as it weighs whether to pursue criminal charges of election fraud against the former President, a source familiar with the office said.

Newly elected Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to make some type of announcement on the matter “one way or another” this month, the source said.

CNN previously reported that Willis said in a statement that she will enforce the law “without fear” and that her office was evaluating whether to pursue potential criminal action against Trump.

“Once the investigation is complete, this matter, like all matters, will be handled by our office based on the facts and the law,” Willis said at the time.

David Worley, the only Democrat on Georgia’s five-member State Election Board, told CNN in a statement, “I requested that the Sec. of State open an investigation, now that has been done I will wait to get the report before requesting further action.”

District attorney also has jurisdiction

Worley had earlier told CNN that he planned to ask the State Board of Elections to refer the case to Willis and her office. The Georgia Constitution gives the Fulton County district attorney the jurisdiction to bring charges for any felony that occurs in the county, so Willis and her office have the power within the law to do whatever they felt was appropriate, regardless of the secretary of state’s investigation.

One former federal prosecutor told CNN it’s clear the state can make a case against Trump.

Michael J. Moore, the former US attorney for the Middle District of Georgia between 2010 and 2015 under President Barack Obama, said the Georgia statute that deals with election fraud shows that it is “pretty clear” that the former President committed election fraud during his phone call with Raffensperger.

“If you if you listen to the call, it sounds like any other call that you might have with an organized crime ring or a drug conspiracy ring or something. And that is that you’ve got almost code talking about — this is what I need you to do, if you could just help me out here,” Moore told CNN.

Moore said the way Trump pressured Raffensperger to help him find votes by implying the secretary of state had been involved in some type of wrongdoing was threatening.

“So you take note of things, you read the Georgia statue, and I think it amounts up to a request that the secretary come in, do something untoward or illegal to allow the election to be shifted in a way that was different than the will of the voters, and that would be an effort to commit election fraud,” the former prosecutor said.

Moore also said that it’s not unusual for state prosecutors to look at things happening in the federal courts, and in this case, it’s possible that Willis can watch how the impeachment hearings play out and say she is satisfied with how justice on Trump’s actions is being handled by Congress.

Former prosecutor says it’s a question of intent

Bret Williams, a former prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, told CNN the crucial question will be Trump’s intent when he repeatedly told Raffensperger and his staff that “I only need 11,000 votes.”

“That’s the first question: Was there a solicitation and an intent behind it? I think you can make a very persuasive argument that that was the case, and that was the purpose of the phone call,” Williams told CNN.

“I do think that you can make an argument — I suspect if it’s charged the defense will — that the President wasn’t making a request, a solicitation of Raffensperger to commit any crime. He was expressing his view that a crime had been committed against him, ironically enough, is I think what he would argue,” Williams added.

“It’s my estimation here that there are arguments on both sides, and it would be a hard-fought situation, a hard-fought case and a difficult decision for a jury to make,” he added.

There were 18 attempted calls from the White House to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office between the election and the January 2 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger, a Georgia state official confirmed to CNN.

More than a week before the infamous early January call, Trump also called a Georgia election investigator in the secretary of state’s office who was leading an investigation into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County. In the late December call, Trump asked the investigator to “find the fraud,” saying that official would be a “national hero,” according to a source with direct knowledge of the call.

Raffensperger told the Washington Post he was not familiar with the specifics of what the President said in the conversation with his chief investigator, but said it was inappropriate for Trump to have tried to intervene in the case.

“That was an ongoing investigation,” Raffensperger told the newspaper. “I don’t believe that an elected official should be involved in that process.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/georgia-secretary-of-states-office-launches-investigation-into-trumps-phone-call/ar-BB1dvIiq

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