On Sunday, the Washington Post published an hour long phone recording featuring outgoing President Donald Trump and Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump has frequently berated while lying that widespread voter fraud orchestrated by Democrats tipped the election to President-elect Joe Biden.
The Peach State—which went blue this year for the first time since 1992—has counted its votes three times, found no evidence of fraud through signature audits, certified and re-certified its results, and its Electoral College votes have already been cast. Every development in the state so far has only reinforced Biden's victory.
Nevertheless, the President urged Raffensperger throughout the call to "find" the 11,000+ votes Trump would need to flip Georgia red. Trump even went on to float potential criminal liability for Raffensperger if he didn't acquiesce to the demands.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Trump's allies have pivoted to attacking Raffensperger for recording the call, rather than the call's content.
A man does not release a private conversation he has with anyone. That's part of being a man. Democrat, Republican, Trump, anti-Trump, none of that matters.
You don't repeat things said to you privately. That's simple man code. https://t.co/hlRPamglnV
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 4, 2021
I don't record my calls with the President of the United States. It's humbling to have the opportunity to speak with the leader of the free world. Betraying the trust of the honor of those conversations is abominable. #Pathetic #Sickening
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) January 3, 2021
It's questionable at best if Raffensperger's recording could be classified as illegal. They were not discussing impending litigation or classified intelligence, especially because Trump alluded to irregularities and improprieties he'd "heard" about without providing actual evidence.
Neither Georgia or Washington, D.C. are two-party consent states—in which both parties must consent to being recorded. What's more, these laws are more commonly used to prevent evidence from being used in court and are rarely put forth as standalone criminal charges.
Commenting on the story to Politico, one of Raffensperger's advisors opened up about why they decided to record the call, saying:
"This is a man who has a history of reinventing history as it occurs. So if he's going to try to dispute anything on the call, it's nice to have something like this, hard evidence, to dispute whatever he's claiming about the secretary. Lindsey Graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots. So yeah, after that call, we decided maybe we should do this."
The advisor alluded to this past November when pro-Trump Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the Georgia Secretary of State's office regarding the 2020 election. Graham insisted that he was calling out of genuine concern, but the Secretary's office saw the move as an effort to pressure Georgia officials to throw out legally cast ballots.
People felt the advisor's comments were spot on.
Can't blame them. https://t.co/HPJ25BTueZ
— Sam Platizky 💬 (@SPlatizky) January 4, 2021
Smart man https://t.co/6HWoyg2pQP
— Cathy Olive (@CathyOlive4) January 4, 2021
They called for Graham to be held accountable.
Lindsey needs to lose his chairmanship at the very least. https://t.co/pTrIv9a7Ov
— “ a republic ..... if we can keep it...." 16 days (@KMR31871) January 4, 2021
The development comes just one day before Georgians will vote in two crucial runoff elections determining whether or not Republicans hold their Senate majority.