US Elections: Georgia elections official tells Trump to stop inspiring violence
Gabe Sterling an elections official in Georgia called out Trump for inspiring violence around the election results and Republicans' failure to condemn it.
Republicans have been largely silent about President Trump as he continually ramps up hostile language directed toward people who confirm the election results that didn’t go in his favor.
The President and his lawyers have repeatedly made outlandish claims about election fraud, involving far-fetched conspiracy theories, saying that the election was stolen by Democrats. In Georgia where Joe Biden won the state by a narrow margin, he has focused his attention on the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger calling him an "enemy of the people." This has resulted in Raffensperger and his family as well as other elections workers receiving threats.
In a press conference Gabe Sterling, a top Republican elections official in Georgia, had finally had enough and angrily rebuked the President and Senators for not condemning the acts of aggression, death threats and the rhetoric coming out of Trump supporters. In his unscripted speech Sterling spoke with a clear, loud voice trying to hold back the anger visibly brewing inside.
“It has to stop,” said Mr. Sterling, “Mr. President, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some.”
Sterling also took issue with Republican Senators, two of whom are up for re-election and will face their Democrat opponents in a run-off in January for not condemning the intimidation and actions being perpetuated by Trump loyalists saying "This is elections. This is the backbone of democracy, and all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this.”
Elections officials receiving threats
As examples of the intimidating language that is coming from Trump supporters, Sterling gave the example of Trump campaign lawyer Joe diGenova who on a radio talk show said that Christopher Krebs, “should be shot.” Krebs is the former head of CISA, the agency which oversaw election cybersecurity, who was fired by Trump for defending the integrity of the 3 November election by saying it had been "the most secure in American history."
He also shared that caravans have been driving around Raffensperger’s house and that there have been intruders on the property. Furthermore that Raffensperger’s wife has been receiving "sexualized threats" to her cell phone. Sterling said that he too is receiving police protection outside his own home but he understands as he has a higher profile job.
The straw that broke the camel’s back
Sterling said that the main source of his anger was that a 20-something contractor with Dominion Voting Systems in Gwinnett County was targeted along with his family. A person hung a noose out side with the man's name saying he should be “hung for treason” when he was merely transferring a report on vote batches to a county computer to read them a standard part of his job.
Trump and his lawyers have made the Dominion and their voting systems a central part of their unproven election fraud claims. In a press conference recently Trump’s lawyers headed by Rudy Guiliani claimed that the software in the machines was created by Venezuela. The company has denied the claims and CISA says that there is no evidence to that effect.
First Amendment rights
Sterling went on to speak personally to the President saying “Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia. We’re investigating. There’s always a possibility, I get it, you have the right to go through the courts. What you don’t have is the ability to — and you need to step up and say this — is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed.”
Sterling said it's time to "look forward," as there is not a path to victory for Mr. Trump in the state. "Be the bigger man here. Stop. Step in," he said. "Tell your supporters don't be violent. Don't intimidate. All that's wrong. It's un-American."
Sterling stated that everyone one has the right to express themselves but that intimidation is not free speech saying “We encourage you, use your First Amendment, that’s fine. Death threats, physical threats, intimidation — it’s too much, it’s not right. They’ve lost the moral high ground to claim that it is.”
Sterling trying to hold back his anger said that all Americans “should have that same level of anger.” as he is feeling at this moment.