Trump Lawyers F*ck Around And Find Out In Georgia
Season 4 Episode 21 GIF by The Simpsons

It's a rare morning when President Crime Boss doesn't scream out a dozen tweets before breakfast, and yet the presidential Twitter feed was silent this morning until almost 10 a.m., in a tacit acknowledgement that Donald Trump's call with Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, published by the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, was somewhat less than perfect. Or perhaps he's just too busy with his "many calls" and "many meetings" to bother with social media today.

Politico has the back story on why Raffensperger's people decided to record and release the tape. Spoiler Alert: Trump is a liar, and so is that weasel Lindsey Graham, who already tried to twist Georgia's arm to "find" more votes, and then publicly denied it.

It started on Saturday when Trump and his team reached out to talk to Raffensperger, who, according to an adviser, felt he would be unethically pressured by the president. Raffensperger had been here before: In November he accused Trump ally and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham of improperly exhorting him to meddle in the election to help Trump win Georgia. Graham later denied it.

So why not record the call with the president, Raffensperger's advisers thought, if nothing else for fact-checking purposes. "This is a man who has a history of reinventing history as it occurs," one of them told Playbook. "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."

Republicans have come up with multiple explanations for why the Georgia secretary of state is the real bad guy here, ranging from the "man code" to "national security." All of which boils down to "snitches get stitches," because these people are thugs.

See also:

In lawyerland, the party line is now that the call was a "settlement negotiation" in yet another dumbshit election case filed by the Trump campaign in Georgia.

There are one or two wee, tiny problems with this theory. To wit: No one on the call referred to this as a settlement discussion; settlement discussions are not "confidential under federal and state law," they're just inadmissible in court as evidence; settlement discussions are admissible as evidence if someone attempts to do crimes during the negotiation, like, say conspiracy to commit election fraud; the presence of Mark Meadows, who works for the American taxpayer and not the Trump campaign, destroys any privilege claims; the tape was not edited, the Post released the thing in its entirety; and Trump himself already tweeted about the call yesterday.

But other than that!

Speaking of lawyers, the law firm Foley & Lardner woke up to a Jones Day-sized headache this morning after its partner Cleta Mitchell was caught on tape trying to help Donald Trump ratfuck the Georgia election. Mitchell's client list is a veritable greatest hits of GOP sleaze, including the NRA, the vote suppressors at True the Vote, and Steve Bannon's "non-profit." She once led a conference for would-be gerrymanderers in which she advised them to destroy their notes from the event to avoid having to turn them over in discovery. "Let us begin with the fact that, probably, your notes from this conference, and this workshop, will probably be part of a discovery demand," Mitchell said on the recording reported by Slate. "My advice to you is: If you don't want it turned over in discovery, you probably ought to get rid of it before you go home."

On the Raffensperger call, Mitchell pressured state officials to share confidential voter records with the Trump campaign to disprove the drivel Trump believes because he saw it on OANN. She was not the lawyer who asked if it was "possible that the secretary of state could deputize the lawyers for the president so that we could access that information and private information without you having any kind of violation." That would be Kurt Hilbert, the dingus representing Trump in his Georgia election litigation.

Hilbert is the one who filed this gobbledygook suit on New Year's Eve asking the federal court to step in and decertify the Georgia electors because the Georgia Supreme Court told him to get lost and how is that even fair? Okay, that's a simplification of his argument. His real argument is that he botched the case by failing to file a motion asking for a new trial judge, then raced to the Supreme Court to ask them to order up that new judge he never asked for only to be told to get his ass back in line, at which point he was out of time, and now he'd like the federal judiciary to bail him out please and thank you. Well, more or less. And please to disregard the fact that he waited until a month after the general election to challenge procedures that were in place during the primary, because SHUT UP, THIS CASE IS TOO TIMELY.

Very normal sign-off in a federal filing.

Clearly Trump is trying to make it an even 70 losses in court. And with Kurt Hilbert in his corner, he just might get his wish.

Sixteen more days!


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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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