President Trump sues Georgia's Brad Raffensperger
President Trump called Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to get the latter to stop obstructing the fraud investigation in Georgia. Instead, after whining about the almost seven hours he's spent on the issue, Raffensperger refused to engage in an investigation and then leaked the call to the Washington Post, which promptly misrepresented its contents. Trump has now sued Raffensperger in both state and federal court for secretly recording and then disseminating a confidential settlement discussion.
There's something wrong with Brad Raffensperger. I don't know what it is — that is, whether he's generically corrupt or has a serious personality disorder — but it's not normal for a secretary of state to behave as he has when faced with the biggest election fraud claim in American history. If Raffensperger really believed there was no fraud, he would be going out of his way to make every bit of information available to President Trump's team to prove his point.
Instead, Raffensperger is putting up every barrier possible. This is a man who is desperate to hide from the world what happened in Georgia on and after the election. If the consciousness of guilt alone were proof of election fraud, Raffensperger would be Exhibit A in a slam-dunk case.
But it doesn't stop there. When President Trump called Raffensperger to see if he could cajole this lazy, arrogant, entitled man into at least working a little bit on the fraud matter, instead of reflexively resisting every fraud assertion, Raffensperger decided to play dirty. He recorded the call and then released it to the Washington Post, which did its usual black magic on anything connected with the president.
The WaPo sliced and diced the call, and then disseminated these mangled pieces to the public to set the narrative: according to the WaPo and every other mainstream media outlet, the story is that Trump demanded that Raffensperger fraudulently create over 11,000 votes for Trump, and when Raffensperger refused, Trump threatened him!
The transcript, which was released only later, after the narrative was in place, tells a story that is the exact opposite of what the media claim. In fact, Trump repeatedly asserted that he won the election based on mountains of evidence and asked only that Raffensperger start cooperating with an investigation instead of fighting it and forcing litigation.
Even that more detailed transcript left out something important: because there is ongoing litigation regarding events in Georgia, this was a settlement discussion. That means that it was confidential, and, apparently, Trump's team made that clear at the outset of the call:
The audio published by @TheWashingtonPost is heavily edited and omits the stipulation that all discussions were for the purpose of settling litigation and confidential under federal and state law.— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) January 3, 2021
President Trump has now sued Raffensperger in both state and federal court for violating the terms of a confidential settlement discussion:
President @realDonaldTrump has filed two lawsuits - federal and state - against @GaSecofState. The telephone conference call @GaSecofState secretly recorded was a “confidential settlement discussion” of that litigation, which is still pending.— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) January 3, 2021
I don't know about the law in Georgia, but in California, the courts take very seriously the privacy accorded to settlement discussions. The reason is that the courts want to encourage settlements. This can be done only if the parties have a reasonable degree of privacy in their discussions.
In a just world, Raffensperger will get his well deserved comeuppance. Lately, though, the world hasn't seemed very just. A little hope and a lot of prayer would be appropriate right about now.
Image: Brad Raffensperger. YouTube screen grab.