Patterico's Pontifications

6/11/2021

Death Threats To Georgia Secretary of State’s Family (and Others) Spelled Out

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:08 am



[guest post by Dana]

At the end of November 2020, I wrote about the death threats that Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his wife Tricia received after certifying an election win for Joe Biden. Reuters has released a damning report that includes specific threats that the family received on the heels of Trump’s election loss. These are nothing less than terrifying:

Late on the night of April 24, the wife of Georgia’s top election official got a chilling text message: “You and your family will be killed very slowly.”

A week earlier, Tricia Raffensperger, wife of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, had received another anonymous text: “We plan for the death of you and your family every day.”

That followed an April 5 text warning. A family member, the texter told her, was “going to have a very unfortunate incident.”

Those messages, which have not been previously reported, illustrate the continuing barrage of threats and intimidation against election officials and their families months after former U.S. President Donald Trump’s November election defeat. While reports of threats against Georgia officials emerged in the heated weeks after the voting, Reuters interviews with more than a dozen election workers and top officials – and a review of disturbing texts, voicemails and emails that they and their families received – reveal the previously hidden breadth and severity of the menacing tactics.

Untitled
A look at Tricia Raffensperger’s response to death threats:

In an exclusive interview, Tricia Raffensperger spoke publicly for the first time about the threats of violence to her family and shared the menacing text messages with Reuters.

The Raffenspergers – Tricia, 65, and Brad, 66 – began receiving death threats almost immediately after Trump’s surprise loss in Georgia, long a Republican bastion. Tricia Raffensperger started taking precautions. She canceled regular weekly visits in her home with two grandchildren, ages 3 and 5 – the children of her eldest son, Brenton, who died from a drug overdose in 2018.

“I couldn’t have them come to my house anymore,” she said. “You don’t know if these people are actually going to act on this stuff.”

In late November, the family went into hiding for nearly a week after intruders broke into the home of the Raffenspergers’ widowed daughter-in-law, an incident the family believed was intended to intimidate them. That evening, people who identified themselves to police as Oath Keepers – a far-right militia group that has supported Trump’s bid to overturn the election – were found outside the Raffenspergers’ home, according to Tricia Raffensperger and two sources with direct knowledge of the family’s ordeal. Neither incident has been previously reported.

“Brad and I didn’t feel like we could protect ourselves,” she said, explaining the decision to flee their home.

Brad Raffensperger told Reuters in a statement that “vitriol and threats are an unfortunate, but expected, part of public service. But my family should be left alone.”

Clearly, it wasn’t just the Raffenspergers who were targeted after the election:

In Georgia, people went into hiding in at least three cases, including the Raffenspergers. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, told Reuters she continues to receive death threats. Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson – a Democrat who faced armed protesters outside her home in December – is also still getting threats, her spokesperson said, declining to elaborate.

But many others whose lives have been threatened were low- or mid-level workers, just doing their jobs…

The intimidation in Georgia has gone well beyond Raffensperger and his family. Election workers – from local volunteers to senior administrators – continue enduring regular harassing phone calls and emails, according to interviews with election workers and the Reuters review of texts, emails and audio files provided by Georgia officials.

One email, sent on Jan. 2 to officials in nearly a dozen counties, threatened to bomb polling sites: “No one at these places will be spared unless and until Trump is guaranteed to be POTUS again.”

Moreover, Fulton County’s elections director, Richard Barron, whose staff is predominantly Black, said that there was any number of ugly racial slurs directed at workers:

Among those targeted was Barron’s registration chief, Ralph Jones, 56, who oversaw the county’s mail-in ballot operation and has worked on Georgia elections for more than three decades, including senior roles.

Jones said callers left him death threats, including one shortly after the November election who called him a “n—–” who should be shot. Another threatened to kill him by dragging his body around with a truck. “It was unbelievable: your life being threatened just because you’re doing your job,” he said.

And Barron, who is White, also received ugly death threats:

At a Dec. 5 rally – ahead of a runoff election in Georgia that would determine control of the U.S. Senate – Trump showed a video clip of Barron and accused him and his staff of committing a “crime,” alleging they tampered with ballots. After the rally, Barron was bombarded with threats. “I underestimated how hard he was going to push that narrative and just keep pushing it,” Barron said of Trump.

Between Christmas and early January, Barron received nearly 150 hateful calls, many accusing him of treason or saying he should die, according to Barron and a Reuters review of some of the phone messages.

“You actually deserve to hang by your goddamn, soy boy, skinny-ass neck,” said a woman in one voicemail, using a slang term for an effeminate man.

And so it goes.

You ask why this matters now? Because the same individual that ratcheted up the anger and fury with outrageous lies about a stolen election appears to be the Republican Party’s current presumptive nominee for 2024:

A new poll from Quinnipiac University found that two-thirds of Republican voters (66 percent) said they would like Trump to run for the presidency in 2024, while only 30 percent were opposed to the idea…

“The numbers fly in the face of any predictions that Donald Trump’s political future is in decline,” the Quinnipiac poll analyst Tim Malloy said in a statement. “By a substantial majority, Republicans: (1) believe the election was stolen from him, (2) want Trump to run again, and (3), if they can’t vote for Trump, prefer someone who agrees with him.”

Two-thirds of Republicans said they believed President Joe Biden’s election victory was illegitimate, and only a quarter told pollsters they believed his win was legitimate.

Asked for their opinion on Trump, most GOP voters (84 percent) said they had a favorable view of him, and a marginal 13 percent had an unfavorable view of their ex-party leader.

And if anything, today’s Retrumplican Party has made loyalty to Trump a litmus test of worth and viability within the Party, as well as becoming their brand. If another post mentioning the outrageous corruption and lies of Trump and the illegal behavior of his loyal fanatics bother you, turning that annoyance toward the real root of the problem would be more appropriate.

Exit question: If Trump runs in 2024 and loses, tell me why you don’t think a repeat of his 2020 election loss insanity wouldn’t be repeated? We know that he hasn’t changed, and apparently his followers haven’t changed either (given the polling), so what would make another election loss any different?

–Dana

35 Responses to “Death Threats To Georgia Secretary of State’s Family (and Others) Spelled Out”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. I would be interest to know what kids of threats others receive in hot-button issues. Sure, Trump has maybe a disproportionate set of outright crazies, but it is not unique to him. I would be shocked if Trump himself did not get much the same.

    I remind you that leftists, obtaining power, actually did kill all the landlords in places and Pol Pot killed everyone who wore glasses, plus Stalin. On the Right, the history of Central America is pretty clear, plus Pinochet, Franco and that Hitler guy.

    Keep this in perspective: these are crazy people who spend all day yelling at Fox News. They are not likely to carry out these threats and their unhappy lives are filled with hatred and very little else. A Christian would pray for them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. spellcheck is not proofreading.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. I really can’t agree that a movement’s craziest members demonstrate the validity of that movement.

    Christians have done terrible things, and some alive today would still do terrible things, given power. That does not meant that Christ’s message was wrong.

    There are Bernie supporters who would really actually literally put “the rich*” into re-education camps. That does not prove Bernie is wrong (spoiler: he is).

    And there are Trump supporters who make terroristic threats. Trump can easily be judged separate from that. Has Trump[ ever made a threat, like hanging a politician he disagreed wi …. oh, wait.

    ———
    * people making over $30K/year

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. @ Kevin M,

    I really can’t agree that a movement’s craziest members demonstrate the validity of that movement.

    Well, that depends on the movement’s percentage of craziest members. If only 10% of the movement is considered “craziest,” which obviously needs to be defined, then it probably isn’t a big deal. But if the craziest members are in the 50% or higher range, then there’s a problem. According to the poll linked, two-thirds of Republican voters (66 percent) said they would like Trump to run for the presidency in 2024, while only 30 percent were opposed to the idea… To me, that’s a lot of crazy, and it’s something that is very concerning.

    Dana (fd537d)

  6. It comes with the territory. AOC and Ilhan Omar gets death threats daily as do conservatives.

    asset (30f926)

  7. if trump runs and loses, there’s a good chance of a repeat of his 2020 election loss insanity

    if he runs and wins, there’s as good a chance of a repeat of nevertrump’s 2016 election loss insanity

    JF (e1156d)

  8. Anonymous death threats are the actions of cowards and scum. It doesn’t matter to me who the threats are directed too. They are wrong. Period. I reject and renounce anyone claiming to be on my side who does this. I despise those who claim to be on my side. I already think the guys on the other side are ‘holes. Don’t be a ‘hole no matter your views.

    Fred (ffa60f)

  9. Inflammatory rhetoric (the election was “stolen”) leads to fires (threats against election officials, January 6th). It’s not rocket science.

    Trump is a malignant entity. This is obvious to anyone willing to do the analysis.

    norcal (baad4b)

  10. 6.It comes with the territory. AOC and Ilhan Omar gets death threats daily as do conservatives.

    Yep.

    Recall back in the day the folks bringing up the issue of being ‘taken’ as family to U.S. corporate execs residing overseas–and if it happens, to consider self “gone”– and anything that could be done for a return– “a plus.” Yes. A ‘plus.’ That was the term used. Laughed; thought they were kidding. They weren’t. Company dictum.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. 3.spellcheck is not proofreading.

    The Plagiarist’s Credo 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  12. According to the poll linked, two-thirds of Republican voters (66 percent) said they would like Trump to run for the presidency in 2024, while only 30 percent were opposed to the idea

    Yes, and this makes me nuts, too. It is not even in their interests for Trump to run again. There are half a dozen people who are saner, more competent and can effectively carry through the “reforms” that the Trump supporters want* and are more likely to get elected.

    ———-
    * and that Trump claims to want, but doesn’t really.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. I wonder what would be the response if you asked: “If Trump is re-elected, should he line the traitors up against the wall, and put their followers in camps?”

    I hope it’s not 2/3rds again.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. But then there’s this crazy man in the WH, dead set on being stupider than Trump:

    Nearly $1 billion restored to California bullet train after Biden officials reverse Trump

    A $929-million federal grant for the California bullet train project was restored Thursday, reversing a decision by the Trump administration to terminate the funding.

    The grant was restored under a settlement of a suit brought by California, asserting the U.S. Department of Transportation acted improperly in taking away the money in May 2019.

    In a written statement, the agency said the settlement “reflects the federal government’s ongoing partnership in the development of high-speed rail” and “is an important step in advancing an economically transformational project in California.”

    Rathole, meet rats.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. I have said before that it’s easy to believe that Biden stole the election if you discount that he was running against Trump. Which Trump supporters do. Discount. Few people would have voted for Biden if he had been running for dogcatcher against Norman Kowalski. Only Trump could have gotten Biden elected President.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. “By a substantial majority, Republicans: (1) believe the election was stolen from him, (2) want Trump to run again, and (3), if they can’t vote for Trump, prefer someone who agrees with him.”

    No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.

    H.L. Mencken, September 18, 1926

    At this point, anyone who still supports Trump is either stupid or a full-on cult member. Or both.

    norcal (c66c6b)

  17. At this point, anyone who still supports Trump is either stupid or a full-on cult member. Or both.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Ted Cruz. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. Only Trump could have gotten Biden elected President.

    And only Hillary could have got Trump elected. We have had HIDEOUS choices the last two times out.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. At this point, anyone who still supports Trump is either stupid or a full-on cult member. Or both.

    Against whom? You’d have to be stupid, or a full-on cult member to say that Trump was the worst person possible. He wasn’t Caligula.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. THE BRAT, A One-Act Play, by Nilliam Kaulfner.
    Cast of Characters:
    The Child … played by Donald Trump
    The Parents .. played by The Regular Republican Party
    The Townsmen … played by Republican Voters
    Synopsis: On a street in the American town of Flyoverville, a young child is throwing a tantrum on the sidewalk because Santa did not bring him a pony on his birthday on June 14. The embarrassed parents want to just take the child home and send him to his room to play with all the toys he already has, but many of the Townsmen have taken the child’s side. They have surrounded the parents and are threatening them with the police, social services, and running them out of town, and even physical harm.

    nk (1d9030)

  21. At this point, anyone who still supports Trump is either stupid or a full-on cult member. Or both.

    Against whom?

    Against anyone else seeking the Republican nomination in 2024.

    norcal (3dd9fa)

  22. @20 Funny, nk! Alas, it is also too close to reality.

    norcal (3dd9fa)

  23. According to the poll linked, two-thirds of Republican voters (66 percent) said they would like Trump to run for the presidency in 2024, while only 30 percent were opposed to the idea

    Yes, and this makes me nuts, too. It is not even in their interests for Trump to run again. There are half a dozen people who are saner, more competent and can effectively carry through the “reforms” that the Trump supporters want* and are more likely to get elected.

    The tail barks; ‘but’ it no longer wags the dog.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. Against anyone else seeking the Republican nomination in 2024.

    But what about Jeb!?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. I’m thinking about a “Trump 2021″ bumper sticker.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. Maybe with 2020 scratched out.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. It comes with the territory. AOC and Ilhan Omar gets death threats daily as do conservatives.

    It isn’t normal for election officials and poll workers to get death threats.
    It isn’t normal for a sitting president to call an official from his own party an “enemy of the people,” or all the other slanders that Trump has hurled at those who don’t do as he wants.

    It isn’t normal for an incumbent to say ahead of time that he will regard a loss at the polls as an illegitimate outcome and for a large majority of a party to adopt his self-centered view of the matter as gospel truth.

    It is unprecedented for the holder of the highest office in the land to encourage his supporters to view other Americans as “traitors” and “enemies of the people” because they did their jobs in good faith, and tell his supporters to “fight like hell” to keep him in power because otherwise they “won’t have a country anymore.”

    And now, some voices in the “intellectual” wing of MAGA world are openly flirting with the idea of violence as the necessary recourse when elections don’t go as they want.

    The current president is bringing policies I don’t like. The previous president corrupted the soul of our constitutional republic and valorized lawlessness and force as ways of achieving political ends, against the will of a democratic majority.

    Radegunda (33a224)

  28. Well said, Radegunda.

    Dana (02de56)

  29. ‘It isn’t normal for election officials and poll workers to get death threats. It isn’t normal for a sitting president to call an official from his own party an “enemy of the people,” or all the other slanders that Trump has hurled at those who don’t do as he wants.’
    It isn’t normal for an incumbent to say ahead of time that he will regard a loss at the polls as an illegitimate outcome and for a large majority of a party to adopt his self-centered view of the matter as gospel truth.’

    Pfft. This fantasy, of course, would be news to the Secret Service, for starters.

    https://qz.com/1578862/arrests-for-death-threats-against-us-politicians-rose-in-2018/

    Prosecutions for death threats against US politicians spiked last year

    ‘Arrests for violent threats against high-profile US politicians spiked in 2018. There were 23 prosecutions for threats against Donald Trump or those in the presidential line of succession last year, a 130% increase over 2017, when there were 10, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). The uptick came after five years of steady decline.

    The number of prosecutions, which don’t necessarily correspond with actual threats, can represent the government’s willingness to press cases at any given time. Researchers say the vast majority of threats overall in the US tend to come from white men who support right-wing causes.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. “But what about Jeb!?”

    I still think he would have made a good President. Sure he was more moderate with respect to immigration….but I’m sympathetic to politicians who are at least open to compromise and understand that at its heart immigration is also an economic issue. He was smarter and more articulate than W (low bar) and as a two-term governor had executive experience. Could he have beaten Hillary? The country certainly had some Bush fatigue….but Clinton fatigue was also high. My opinion is that any of the top 5 candidates could have won with Hillary’s negatives….but we went a different direction…

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  31. Yeah, I’m being sarcastic, of course. Jeb was hardly the worst non-Trump running — Kasich was on all sides of every issue.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. Pfft. This fantasy, of course, would be news to the Secret Service, for starters.

    Which other president has openly called an official (from his own party or otherwise) an “enemy of the people” simply for doing a job impartially?

    Which other president has preemptively rejected the possibility that his defeat in an election could be a legitimate outcome?

    When before has a major political party made itself so subservient to the self-serving delusions of a pathological narcissist, and then justified his attempt to overturn an election by intimidation and excused the violence and injuries to police officers that resulted?

    When before has a losing presidential candidate promoted the idea that he will be reinstated before the year is over — and his party continues to hold him up as its leader?

    The big difference here is the way that political intimidation and violence have been openly encouraged from the highest level of power — and the way that a major political party has taken the position that there’s nothing wrong with it, and that the bad people are those who find it worrisome.

    Radegunda (33a224)

  33. My opinion is that any of the top 5 candidates could have won with Hillary’s negatives….but we went a different direction…

    The polling in 2016 supported that view, and predicted that Trump was more likely to lose than some other candidates.
    After the 2016 election, Trumpers asserted (without logic or evidence) that his victory proved that Trump was the only GOP candidate who could have won. Then the proceeded to assert that anything he did that worked out okay would not conceivably have been done by any other president.

    In the effort to demonstrate that Trump was a much better president than G.W. Bush, they have to assume that Trump would have done better in handling the unforeseen challenges that Bush faced — particularly the terror attacks and the mortgage crisis (which Bush did not cause) — and that Bush would have done no better and probably worse in a pandemic response. Those are not rational assumptions.

    Radegunda (33a224)

  34. I still think he would have made a good President.

    Not. A. Chance.

    Even his Mommy said enough Bush.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  35. Christopher Sign, Birmingham TV anchor and former Alabama football player, dead in apparent suicide

    https://www.al.com/news/2021/06/christopher-sign-birmingham-tv-anchor-former-alabama-football-player-dead-in-apparent-suicide.html

    I have zero reason to believe that this is anything other than a suicide but it caught my attention because of how it relates to this topic. Apparently this poor man was harassed with death threats that were significant enough to cause him and his family to relocate as well as learn to speak in code words to keep his children safe.

    Tweet

    Jewish Deplorable
    @TrumpJew2
    ·
    9h
    Christopher Sign went on Fox recently about the death threats he received after breaking the Clinton tarmac story

    https://mobile.twitter.com/TrumpJew2/status/1403950963719868417

    I apologize that the link includes the name “Trump.” It is the only one I found that has a video of Sign explaining the death threats.

    What is wrong with these death threat people? A truly sick crowd.

    BuDuh (d1f856)


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