Former President Donald Trump is still trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, more than nine months after he lost ― and one day before a planned rally in support of the various people charged for the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
On Friday, the former president sent a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with more claims of voter fraud ― even though thorough efforts to root out alleged voter fraud in the state, and across the country, have come up empty. The Republican state officials who oversaw the election have repeatedly said that Trump’s claims of widespread fraud in Georgia are false.
In Friday’s dispatch, Trump cited a post on Georgia Star News, a pro-Trump website launched in the days after the November election that is part of a wider network of pro-Trump sites. Steve Bannon, a former Trump aide, described the site as “very populist,” “very nationalist” and “very MAGA,” NPR reported.
The website claims that it received documents in response to an open records request that showed more than 43,000 DeKalb County ballots had not been processed correctly.
“It’s an absurd claim,” Emory University political science Professor Alan Abramowitz told HuffPost.
“The results in DeKalb were entirely consistent with the results in other counties in Georgia and with the results of earlier elections in DeKalb,” Abramowitz wrote in an email. “A disparity of that magnitude would be very obvious.”
Nevertheless, Trump demanded that the state secretary of state look into the claim, writing that Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) are “doing a tremendous disservice to the Great State of Georgia, and to our Nation ― which is systematically being destroyed by an illegitimate president.”
Raffensperger’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the wake of the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly attacked Raffensperger and Kemp as he sought to cling to the presidency. He went so far as to try bullying Raffensperger into overturning the results of the election in his favor, saying in a Jan. 2 phone call with Raffensperger and other officials that he “just want[ed] to find 11,780 votes.”
Raffensperger didn’t acquiesce to Trump’s demands, telling the president at the time, “We don’t agree that you have won.” Just a few days later, Trump held a rally outside the White House that whipped his followers into a frenzy, sparking the massive Capitol Hill riot that left several people dead.
A rally in support of the hundreds of people who have been charged with various crimes in connection to the riot is slated for Saturday in Washington, D.C., where law enforcement is already beefing up security as a precaution.