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Georgia official: Trump call to ‘find’ votes was a threat

Georgia Secretary of State Book

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger discusses his new book, "Integrity Counts," during an interview on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. In the book, Raffenseperger speaks out against former President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump was threatening Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger when he asked him to help “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in Georgia to Democratic President Joe Biden, Raffensperger writes in a new book.

The book, “Integrity Counts,” was released Tuesday. In it, Raffensperger depicts a man who defied pressure from Trump to alter election results, but also reveals a public official settling political scores as he seeks to survive a hostile Republican primary environment and win reelection in 2022.

An engineer who grew wealthy before running for office, Raffensperger recounts in his book the struggle in Georgia that followed Biden’s narrow victory, including death threats texted to his wife, an encounter with men who he says may have been staking out his suburban Atlanta home, and being escorted out of the Georgia capitol on Jan. 6 as a handful of right-wing protesters entered the building on the same day many more protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The book climaxes with the phone call, which was recorded and then given to multiple news organizations. Raffensperger — known as a conservative Republican before Trump targeted him — writes that he perceived Trump as threatening him multiple times during the phone call.

“I felt then — and still believe today — that this was a threat," Raffensperger writes. “Others obviously thought so, too, because some of Trump’s more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating potential attempts to improperly influence Georgia’s 2020 election. Raffensperger said in an interview with The Associated Press that Willis’ investigators have talked to some employees in his office, but that he hasn’t been interviewed.

“They’ve talked to some of our folks here. We sent all the documents and she can now buy the book online,” Raffensperger said of Willis.

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