“You’re here because we, the people, won’t let them steal our voices!” Mr. Wood, a prominent right-wing attorney in Atlanta, said the cheering crowd. “We will not let them steal our freedom. Every lie is exposed! And on January 20, 2021, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. “
Mr. Wood later approached state officials while bringing up the case that the Georgia Trial was too corrupt to be part of. “We’re not going to vote on your damn machines that are made in China,” he said. Ms. Powell, who has been rejected by Mr. Trump’s legal team but continues to press legal challenges on behalf of the President, repeated Mr. Wood’s warningand urged “all Georgians” not to vote, “unless your vote is certain”.
But in another way, the momentum seemed to be turning against Mr. Trump this week. On Tuesday, a senior election official, Gabriel Sterling, interfered with the president, asking him to cut back on the conspiratorial rhetoric that Mr Sterling said had inspired people to make violent threats against election officials.
On Wednesday, Mr. Sterling’s boss, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – like Mr. Sterling, a Republican – appeared to be closing the door on the president’s long-term hopes of undermining popular voices. When Raffensperger found that US Attorney General William P. Barr had just said that the Justice Department had not found widespread fraud in the national race, he said, “Our investigators also did not see widespread fraud.”
He added that a second ballot recount in Georgia, due to be completed by midnight Wednesday, would show that Mr Biden was indeed the winner. And the Foreign Minister specifically referred to Mr Biden as the President-Elect.
At the same time, political expediency is an essential factor. Mr Raffensperger, who stands for re-election in 2022, is among a number of top Georgia Republicans who are aligning their actions around two distinct imperatives: defending the integrity of their state’s elections while trying to face the bizarre and evolving political weather survive systems created by the mercury Mr. Trump.
The president may spread conspiracy theories and harshness – he publicly attacked Mr Raffensperger and Mr Kemp for failing to do what he wanted – but he is also the most popular figure in the Republican Party. At the national level, Mr Trump’s ongoing assault on electoral integrity, while wrong, convinced many Republicans it existed something wrong about the choice. And no one is sure whether or for how long he will continue to command his party’s allegiance.