Donald Trump’s phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State is a microcosm of the Trump era — Trump pushing but not exceeding the legal limits, and the media/Democrats/NeverTrumpers/Establishment Republicans hyperventilating in a feeding frenzy.

Trump believes that he was cheated out of an election win, so he called the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger about alleged Georgia election fraud.

That’s question number one about this whole thing. Why is Trump calling someone he has been attacking in public for weeks, and who he should have known was hostile to Trump? For the same inexplicable reason Trump sat down for hours of recorded interviews with Bob Woodward; that’s Trump, he thinks he can convince even hostile people. He’s also hands-on and not politically savvy in that way — Of course Obama or Biden would have done it, but through surrogates several levels removed to provide “plausible deniability” as in Biden’s China deals. If Trump doesn’t like someone or something, he picks up the phone or tweets about them, it’s something that makes him endearing to his supporters and infuriating to his opponents.

When Democrats don’t like someone, they sic the FBI and IRS on them. I’ll take the phone caller and tweeter any day.

The call was not “perfect” but it wasn’t criminal either. When WaPo released a highly and deceptively edited 4-minute version, it appeared that Trump might have been seeking to have Raffensberger do something illegal by “finding” votes for Trump. But after that media narrative was set, hours later the full hour-long audio and transcript was released which showed no illegality.

The call was pretty much a Trump stump speech railing on Raffensberger and other state officials for supposedly not doing their jobs. That job in Trump’s view in the call, was to prevent voter fraud and disqualify fraudulent votes, not to commit fraud. There was no substance that Trump has not said dozens of times in public, and if the substance of this call was done in a speech, no one would have noticed.

(Raffensberger vigorously pushed back on Trump’s claims of election fraud on the call, as did his aide in a press conference today.)

And Trump did not tell Raffensberger to find votes. Trump said that he, Trump, needed to “find” only enough votes to win, even though there were tens of thousands more illegal votes. That’s a different context then the initial narrative. And no, Trump did not threaten criminal prosecution, as some claim. Read the transcript.

The call was, however, both stupid and pathetic. Trump comes across as desperate, which is what you would expect from someone who believes he was cheated, but is not how Trump should want to be viewed exiting the presidency. It may get worse, depending what happens in the next few days.

So on the one hand, we have a stupid and desperate call. But as always happens with Trump, the media hyperventilates and exaggerates, as do Democrats, Never-Trumpers, and mildly pro-Trump Republicans who are afraid. The end of democracy! Treason and sedition! A criminal attempt to procure election fraud! Racist!” Even his lawyer Cleta Mitchell should be fired by her law firm and the Lincoln Project is encouraging harassment of the law firm and its clients.

How obviously criminal was it? Apparently not so to the non-TDS stricken. Even the NY Times had trouble scrounging up a legitimate “expert” to say it was criminal, and a swampish promoter of Russia collusion known for his “Boom!” tweets said he was having trouble finding a crime.

And the supposed victim? He was going to keep the call confidential until Trump sent a mean tweet about him.

So no crime was committed, Trump was Trump, and his opponents did the expected OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGE!!! routine again.

So no, we’re not going to cover this.

 

 
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