September 27, 2021

It's kind of weird to live in a society where we're following pennant races and enjoying the weather -- while also watching the steady erosion of our democracy by Trump, his openly criminal acts, and the minions who trail in his wake. Lots of coverage, but is it enough to break through the noise of a pandemic-exhausted electorate? This from CNN's New Day with Brianna Keilar and John Berman:

"America's democracy is in peril as the Republican party continues to sow doubt about the outcome of the 2020 election and threatens to wreak havoc on elections in 2022 and 2024. The party's ringleader and for now the front-runner for the nomination is the Big Lie's biggest cheerleader," Keilar said.

"The former president confessed that a rally in Georgia that he called Republican Governor Brian Kemp in the wake of the 2020 election and asked him to hold a special election. He wanted Kemp to hold an election to throw out the results of the November election and do a new one, all based on Trump's lies about voter fraud," Berman said.

TRUMP: Let me handle it. I'll call him up. I said 'Brian, you have a big election integrity problem in Georgia. I hope you can help us out and call a special election and let's get to the bottom of it for the good of the country. Let's get to the bottom of it for the good of your state.' Election integrity, what could be better than that? 'Sir, I'm sorry, I cannot do that.' Let me tell you, this guy is a disaster. He's a disaster.

"Joining me now, Bill Kristol, former chief of staff for vice president Dan Quayle and director of Defending Democracy Together. This is the president saying it out loud, the former president. He's not embarrassed by his public, in broad daylight lies, about the 2020 election," Berman said.

"No, he's not. You said he confessed in a legal sense, as Ben said correctly, he's not embarrassed. The key is, he can't be embarrassed and not going to apologize. The whole point is to normalize this and the Republican party is carrying this message of denying the facts about the election and committing in a sense to the possibility at least of overturning the next one, it's not just Donald Trump.," Kristol said.

In related news: The Brookings Institution issued a report that analyzed publicly available evidence which showed that Trump and his allies attempted to pressure Georgia officials to change the outcome. Via Business Insider:

A key piece of evidence is the now-infamous call made by Trump to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 3, where the former president told him to "find 11,780 votes" to overturn now-President Joe Biden's victory in the state.

[...] The report added that Trump publicly pressured and personally contacted several other Republican officials in Georgia to ask for their help in overturning his electoral loss in the state, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr. Trump reportedly placed direct calls to the officials in December to urge them to go along with "his increasingly desperate plans to decertify his loss."

The Brookings report concludes that Trump's attempts to meddle in Georgia "leaves him at substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes. These charges potentially include criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; intentional interference with performance of election duties; conspiracy to commit election fraud; criminal solicitation; and state RICO violations."

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