There is a degree of irony to the circumstances. Among Donald Trump's many troubles is an ongoing criminal probe in Georgia, where members of a grand jury are considering evidence about the former president's alleged efforts to intervene in the state's 2020 vote count.
CNN reported last week that criminal investigators in the state "have been quietly conducting interviews, collecting documents and working to build a line of communication with congressional investigators as they aim to build a case against" Trump.
It was against this backdrop that the former president sent a new letter on Friday to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's Republican secretary of state, making new efforts to intervene in the state's 2020 vote count. Trump's letter, which was largely just one long paragraph, read in part:
'Large scale Voter Fraud continues to be reported in Georgia. Enclosed is a report of 43,000 Absentee Ballot Votes Counted in DeKalb County that violated the Chain of Custody rules, making them invalid. I would respectfully request that your department check this and, if true, along with many other claims of voter fraud and voter irregularities, start the process of decertifying the 2020 Election, or whatever the correct legal remedy is, and announce the true winner.'
He added that unidentified "people" don't understand why Raffensperger and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp "adamantly refuse to acknowledge the now proven facts."
For those keeping track, the last presidential election was 321 days ago. It was four months ago when House Republicans ousted Liz Cheney from her leadership post, complaining that she wasn't moving on quickly enough from the 2020 race. And it was late last week when Trump pressed Georgia's secretary of state to "decertify" the state's election results so that the candidate who lost the state could be declared "the true winner."
To the extent that reality has any meaning, a Washington Post analysis scrutinized the "report" Trump referred to and found it to be both baseless and "embarrassing." The conclusions were hardly surprising: The former president's own letter acknowledged that the purported evidence might not actually be true.
It was also difficult not to laugh at Trump's proposed remedy: He wants Georgia to embrace his nonsensical claims and undo the election results – "or whatever the correct legal remedy is."
The former president clearly didn't invest a whole lot of energy into researching the matter before sending off this letter.
But let's not overlook the larger context: A growing number of Republican voters have concluded that President Joe Biden did not win the election, reality be damned. A growing number of GOP-led legislatures are conducting utterly bonkers "investigations" into their states' election results, all in pursuit of transparent nonsense. The National Guard even had to be on standby over the weekend in case radicalized Trump followers became violent while celebrating those who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Yes, Trump is obviously peddling laughable lies. And yes, it's all quite pitiful to see a former president humiliate himself this way. But there's a larger context to the Republican's antics, and it's undermining the health of our political system, about which Trump is indifferent.