Trump campaign official set up meeting where election worker says she was pressured

ADVISORY: This edit replaces the video USA-ELECTION/THREATS-KANYE (Edit No: 5421 v2, 12/10/2021), which has been withdrawn. This edit revises some of the subtitles, following a forensic analysis of the body-camera footage and an interview with Harrison Floyd.

A member of Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign arranged and participated in a meeting at which a Georgia election worker says she was pressed by a Chicago publicist to falsely admit voting fraud.

The revelation directly ties a senior figure in the former president’s political operation to an extraordinary late-night Jan. 4 meeting in which a $16-an-hour election worker faced pressure to implicate herself in a baseless conspiracy theory, stoked by Trump himself, as he sought to overturn his Georgia election loss.

Harrison Floyd - who was executive director of a national campaign coalition called Black Voices for Trump in 2020 - told Reuters on Monday that he asked Chicago publicist Trevian Kutti to visit the Atlanta area to speak with 62-year-old temporary election worker Ruby Freeman. Floyd said he then participated by phone in a meeting Kutti held with Freeman at a police station in Georgia’s Cobb County.

Kutti was accompanied at the meeting by another Trump campaign figure: Garrison Douglas, who was a Georgia leader in Black Voices for Trump during the campaign and now works as a Republican Party spokesperson in the state. Douglas confirmed to Reuters that he was present at the meeting. Floyd said he recruited Douglas and Kutti because he was unable to attend himself.

In a statement to Reuters on Monday, Douglas said: "On January 4th, I was unemployed and received a call to serve as a volunteer driver, as I had many times in the past. I had no involvement in the meeting beyond the task of driving."

In a phone interview Monday, Floyd said he was asked if he’d be willing to set up the meeting by a man he described as a chaplain with “connections” in federal law enforcement. He declined to name the clergyman or to detail what those connections involved. Floyd said the chaplain, who is white, wanted him to approach Freeman, who is Black, to discuss an immunity deal for her, out of a belief that she would not trust a white stranger. Floyd, Douglas and Kutti are Black.

Floyd said that he had left his role in the Trump campaign before the Jan. 4 meeting. Trump himself “never asked me to go” to Georgia, he said, and board members of the Black Voices for Trump group “had no involvement in this.”

Floyd said he arranged the meeting in an effort to help Freeman. He said he himself believed she was seeking assistance, including immunity from prosecution over claims from the Trump camp that she had committed voting fraud.

Freeman, through a spokesperson, said she never reached out to anyone to seek immunity. Her lawyer, Von DuBose, declined to comment further.

A former Justice Department official in Georgia confirmed that state and federal investigators concluded in December 2020 that there was no evidence Freeman committed fraud. As a result, the department never considered offering her immunity, said the official, who had direct knowledge of a Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into Trump’s Georgia election-fraud claims.

Floyd did not directly answer when asked whether Freeman requested immunity at the meeting. He said Freeman wasn’t willing to “put anything down on paper,” so he had nothing to “run up the flagpole,” referring to his more senior contacts in Trump’s political operation.

As Reuters reported earlier this month, Freeman told police that during that night’s encounter, Kutti tried to get her to falsely implicate herself in voting fraud. In an incident report, a Cobb County Police officer wrote that Freeman told police about an “alleged Trump supporter who attempted to get Ms. Freeman to make false claims about the ballot counting.” That person, Freeman told Reuters in an interview, was Kutti.

In an interview earlier this month about the meeting, Freeman initially told Reuters she thought Floyd’s name was “Harrison Ford.” The news organization later determined that Kutti had introduced the man on the speakerphone as Harrison “Floyd.”

That conclusion was backed by an analysis by an outside forensic expert, Focal Forensics, of that portion of their conversation, which was captured on the police officer’s body camera. After Reuters presented this finding to Floyd, he confirmed it was him.

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