Monday, President Donald J. Trump was incensed as his re-election options dwindled and admitted to FOX Business’s Maria Bartiromo that his paths to litigate the vote all the way to the United States Supreme Court run into dead ends. He tweeted to the “hapless” Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, “use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State, and do a match of signatures on envelopes.” While this claim is untrue, Governor Kemp fired back later in the day.
“Georgia law prohibits the Governor from interfering in elections. The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order,” Cody Hall, the communications director for Kemp, said in a statement. “As the Governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps — including a sample audit of signatures — to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.”
Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, declared during a Monday evening press conference that “the truth matters” and pushed back against the “massive” spigot of election disinformation being spread by Trump and Republican allies.
“There are those who are exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims, half-truths, misinformation, and frankly, they are misleading the President as well, apparently,” he said.
He also said a post-election audit, along with the ongoing recount, prove that the election was fair.
“Once this recount is complete, everyone in Georgia will be able to have even more confidence in the results of our elections,” he said, insisting the recount is on track to finish by the deadline which is 11:59 PM on Wednesday night.
As the recount continues, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten in Atlanta gave Kemp and Raffensperger until Wednesday to file a brief in response to inspection demands made in a lawsuit by Sidney Powell. Powell is the Trump lawyer who claims Kemp, Raffensperger, and Senator Kelly Loeffler were complicit in the rigging of the 2020 Presidential election. Powell seeks to decertify the election result, while also alleging Dominion Voting Systems Inc. machines are part of an expansive scheme involving Democratic-run cities, billionaire George Soros and “communist money” from Venezuela and Cuba.
Trump’s attacks on Georgia Republicans have caused a deepening fissure within the State’s GOP. While state Republicans cannot deny the President is the party’s biggest promoter and turnout driver, Republicans are wondering aloud if Trump is actually damaging the brand as the December 6th debates loom for Senator Loeffler and Democratic challenger, Reverend Raphael G. Warnock.
Perdue has declined to debate his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff.
There are a few direct outcomes as the President, Loeffler and Perdue decry the election process. First, many Republicans have taken to social media to voice their displeasure as they believe the system is irreparably damaged. Secondly, Republicans that have a greater fielty to President Trump compared to Loeffler and Perdue would skip the election. Lastly, the Republicans who have crossed party lines to support Joe Biden would gain a greater sense of purpose to defeat Trumpism, and therefore, isolate themselves from the GOP apparatus.
Loeffler and Perdue have voiced their ardent support for President Trump.
A win by either Loeffler or Perdue would maintain the Senate majority for Republicans. However, if Democrats sweep the Jan. 5th runoff races, there would be a 50-50 split in the Senate, with Kamala Harris wielding the tie-breaking vote as vice president.
It remains to be seen if President Trump and Governor Kemp will repair their relationship before Trump arrives in Georgia on Dec. 5th.