Trump began 2021 with politics as usual as concerns mount over a leaked tape where he pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the presidential election and threatened him with a possible “criminal offense” during an hour-long phone call on Saturday.
In response, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) has expressed a similar sentiment regarding Trump’s insidious effort to disenfranchise Black voters in the state of Georgia, many of whom galvanized their efforts to help Joe Biden win and flip the state blue for the first Democratic voting majority since the 1992 presidential election.
“President Trump’s last-ditch attempt to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to overturn the unequivocal results of the presidential election places our democracy squarely at a crossroads, said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the LDF in a recent statement. “After failing to win the Electoral College, and having lost scores of legal challenges, the President is now resorting to direct pressure in his attempt to remain in office and upend the will of the people. As his own administration has made clear, this was the most secure election in American history with no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
The LDF stands with Black Georgia voters and filed a suit in December regarding Trump’s mass attempts at disenfranchisement.
“The President’s focus on Georgia, and Fulton County, more specifically, again is consistent with his rhetoric since November 2 targeting the ballots cast by Black voters. His campaign’s post-election legal maneuverings have repeatedly targeted communities with large percentages of Black voters – Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia – and we are seeing much of the same rhetoric again in advance of this week’s critical U.S. Senate runoff election. This pattern of anti-democratic conduct is why LDF filed suit against the Trump Campaign and the Republican National Committee.
According to The New York Times, Trump has attempted to contact Raffensperger’s switchboard 19 times since Election Day.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during the conversation, according to a recording first obtained by The Washington Post. Trump lost the state of Georgia by over 12,000 votes, which was one of the battleground states needed to secure the White House.
Critics of Trump’s tactics are now urging the Fulton County District Attorney to investigate in what has been hailed as a clear violation of state and federal laws. However, the fight may be long and arduous. Raffensperger voiced he would be in support of the district attorney’s involvement.
“I understand that the Fulton County district attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go,” Raffensperger said during a Monday appearance on “Good Morning America.”
Saturday’s phone call marks the second time Raffensperger has publicly acknowledged pressure from Trump and his supporters to meddle in the election. In Nov. Raffensperger revealed that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham attempted to pressure him to toss out mail-in ballots in certain Georgia counties to help Trump win the election.
Georgia remains in the national spotlight as two runoff races determine the outcome of the Senate. Black voters continue to show out in large numbers through a series of voter suppression tactics to exercise their power on the closely watched election.