The Other “Perfect” Call

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office at the White House on June 27, 2017. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
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Just a short note about a relatively minor topic. But with new Trump indictments almost certainly coming next week in Fulton County (Atlanta), Georgia, I wanted to return to a simple point. Remember the call in which then-President Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and demanded he find him 11,780 more votes and threatened him with prosecution if he didn’t. That call alone should be more than enough to send Trump to prison for years. In its own way it’s worse than almost everything else noted in the federal indictments. It is so stunning that I’m writing this post just to step us back and refocus our attention on just how stunning it is.

Another view and a very correct one would say that it’s no worse and really indistinguishable from the larger conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election. There were versions of this in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and other states. Indeed, this call is specifically referenced in the federal indictments as part of that larger conspiracy. This is the point of conspiracy charges: to indict the crimes not as a series of discrete acts by separate individuals but as a coordinated series of actions, involving a number of people over a period of time, amounting to a broader conspiracy. All true.

But the scale and far-flungedness of the crime can sometimes dull our impression of its enormity. This call alone tells the whole story (highlights of the call transcript here). The demand to manufacture votes (“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have”); the demand to manufacture a fraudulent win in place of a defeat in a free and fair election (“We have, we have, we have won this election in Georgia based on all of this.
And there’s, there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad.”); the threat of retaliation, prosecution and incarceration if the demand wasn’t met.

It’s all there.

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