Once again, a phone call between President Trump and another politician has sparked anger among the perpetually outraged. This latest instance, which certainly has echoes of the infamous Ukrainian call, relates to the 2020 election and sees Trump urge Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to do his job. However, the Fourth Estate has seized on this as a moment to accuse the president of yet more wrongdoing.
The perception of misconduct is predicated on the idea that Trump was coercing Raffensperger to make up votes. But for any who can read a simple paragraph without injecting partisanship, the picture becomes far clearer: Trump wants Rafffensperger to fulfill his duty by looking into claims of electoral malfeasance.
A Test for Guilt?
The media machine was quick to trot out legal scholars and experts to back up its claims that the president was in the wrong during his January 2 discussion, and any subsequent investigation will surely feature the same talking heads. But there is a simple test to apply when determining someone’s motive: If the other side suspected electoral fraud, would this phone call be the minimum they expect of the commander in chief?
Partisanship is the curse of lawmakers and the fodder of the legacy media. If the shoe were on the other foot and Democrats sought to challenge the election results, no amount of cajoling or veiled threats would have been enough.
What did the president actually say?
A Perfect Phone Call, Again?
The recording of the call, published by a well-known Washington newspaper, is a magic mirror: It shows you precisely what you want to see.
President Trump, speaking to Raffensperger, general counsel Ryan Germany, and Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs, began by laying out his case that a full audit – one that checks signatures, rather than just a tally of electronic votes, should take place. He said:
“We have at least 2 or 3 — anywhere from 250 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures — a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County — you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged. And we are quite sure that’s going to happen.”
This is the premise of what Trump is requesting. Not that the secretary of state makes up a swath of fraudulent ballots, nor that the state electoral team throw out genuine ballots, but that serious consideration is given to check that the votes cast in the election were done so by real people.
The president further detailed issues with drop boxes that disappeared for several days, inconsistencies and questions that, regardless of party support, should be examined to ensure election results can be relied upon to reflect actual votes cast.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who joined the president on the call, clarified Trump’s request, saying “there are allegations where we believe that not every vote or fair vote and legal vote was counted, and that’s at odds with the representation from the secretary of state’s office. What I’m hopeful for is there some way that we can, we can find some kind of agreement to look at this a little bit more fully?”
Yet again, the White House duo is asking that due diligence take place rather than the wholesale criminal manufacturing of fresh ballots.
Raffensperger responded that the evidence had already been presented to state lawmakers and that the courts had rejected it. This is not quite accurate, however. A number of lawsuits across the country were rejected by courts not based on a judge reviewing evidence and coming to a determination, but because the suits asked for remedies that were either not within the courts’ powers to grant or too big an ask.
The phone call in question is now the cause du jour of spin doctors and the activist media. It has become a cudgel with which to denigrate the president and cast his requests as something nefarious rather than a search for answers.
If a man believes he has been unfairly treated and that people have conspired to steal from him something honestly won, is it not his right to ask those in positions of responsibility to do their due diligence? And is it not the responsibility of those who can seek the truth to do so … not just for the president, but for the sake of the American voter’s faith in the whole electoral system?
Read more from Mark Angelides.
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