Last Saturday, President Donald Trump spent an hour trying to persuade the person in charge of the elections in Georgia to overturn the result of the November 3 elections in that state.
This is an unacceptable, unprecedented move by the leader of the democracy by which the union of American states is governed. All of us who believe in the sanctity of the ballot have an obligation to denounce this act in the strongest possible terms.
Please note: the conversation between the President and the election official is authentic beyond a shadow of a doubt. We have the tape of the conversation with the clear voice of the President.
President Trump: “We have won this election in Georgia based on all of this. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad … “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Brad Raffensperger: “Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”
President Trump: “You know, and I watched you this morning, and you said, well, there was no criminality.
But I mean all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff. When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.”
Brad Raffensperger: “Mr. President, you have people that submit information, and we have our people that submit information. And then it comes before the court, and the court then has to make a determination. We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.”
President Trump: “Why do you say that, though? I don’t know. I mean, sure, we can play this game with the courts, but why do you say that?”
The above is a small excerpt of their intense conversation that lasted an hour, but these passages are indicative of what was said.
The first thing is to admire this Brad Raffensperger, a mid-level Georgian politician who had the courage to resist a U.S. President, and to point out the truth, the reality.
People like him are the hope, the pillars on which the whole system rests.
Secondly, lawyers say that this act of the President, to try to blackmail an elected official into violating his duty, carries serious legal sanctions.
Beyond that, given that Trump will be out of power in less than 20 days, taking legal action against him will no longer be the right path – although it is certain that many people will object to not prosecuting him.
So, at least let us massively condemn this telephone conversation of the President as unacceptable and contrary to what is most valuable among the things that this country has won in its short history: our democratic ideals.