You’ve likely seen some headlines today about the trove of ex-Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s texts that were obtained by reporters for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and, later, Politico. AJC’s article, published last night, detailed the messages’ highlights, and said they came from an anonymous source. The 59-pages worth of messages are from Loeffler’s final weeks in office before she was defeated by Sen. Ralph Warnock (D-GA) in the January 2021 runoff election.
The AJC wrote that it was able to confirm the messages were authentic with at least four people included in the conversations, which center on Loeffler’s private maneuverings surrounding the 2020 election results and her reelection bid. Loeffler’s office has not weighed in on the document dump beyond telling the AJC that the release of the texts were a “desperate attempt to distract voters 20 days from the election.”
CNN then reported this afternoon that Loeffler, along with former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, testified before the grand jury in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into the efforts by Trump and his allies to keep the former president in power after his 2020 defeat. That news adds a layer of intrigue around reporters’ receipt of the pages of text messages — especially given that “the log of texts was sent as a report from Cellebrite, a service typically used by investigators to extract digital data from cell phones,” in Politico’s words.
Here’s a rundown of the most noteworthy exchanges in the Loeffler texts:
- Tricia Raffensperger, the wife of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (aka Trump enemy No. 1), told Loeffler that she would be the one to blame for any harm that might come to the Raffensperger family as a result of ongoing threats: “Never did I think you were the kind of person to unleash such hate and fury on someone in political office of the same party,” Tricia wrote to Loeffler. “My family and I am being personally besieged by people threatening our lives because you didn’t have the decency or good manners to come and talk to my husband with any questions you may have had.”
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) sought to recruit Loeffler to not only join in on the plan for “how to vote on the electoral college on Jan 6th” but also attempted to get Loeffler to join the now-infamous meeting at the White House on December 21. Loeffler’s aides advised her to tell Greene that she would be with Ivanka Trump all day and couldn’t attend. “Everything is on table with regard to Jan 6!” she replied to Greene.
- Daryl Moody, one of the guys who signed up to act as a fake Trump elector in Georgia, texted Loeffler on the day before Jan. 6 to make sure he had her permission to stay home when it was clear he wouldn’t be needed: “Since Biden was certified as the winner, I hadn’t planned to go,” he wrote. “Since I’m technically an officer on your leadership team, I wanted to make sure I’m making choices that reflect well on you. Please let me know if you have any input.” A few hours later Loeffler texted staff that she let “him know we had no issues with that.”
- Some text exchanges show Loeffler expressing some uncertainty with her staff about joining efforts to object to the election results. She reportedly didn’t respond to a text from Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) on December 17 asking if she planned to join the effort. She also rebuffed texts from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) around the same time asking her to sign on to a statement from Senate Republicans about not certifying the election and calling for an audit. Loeffler of course did end up announcing at an 11th-hour rally with Trump that she was going to vote to decertify.
- There were also some frantic messages exchanged with her staff on Jan. 6, expressing concern about the violence as it was unfolding and questioning whether she should stick to her plan to not certify President Biden’s victory. She ultimately was convinced by a staffer to drop the plan and voted to certify.
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