Opinion: For Trump and his allies, it’s still all about 2020

Then-President Donald Trump speaks to his supporters Jan. 6, 2021, on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Then-President Donald Trump speaks to his supporters Jan. 6, 2021, on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

Credit: TNS

As the nation observed the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, it was striking to see how the former president and his backers can’t stop talking about Trump’s never-ending false claims of 2020 election fraud.

“This was, indeed, the crime of the century,” Trump said this week, still pushing his repeatedly debunked claim that widespread election fraud cost him the election in Georgia and other states.

Not only is Trump still laser-focused on what Democrats call “The Big Lie,” Georgia remains ground zero for that fight.

Earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, who is trying to defeat Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, again made clear that Trump’s debunked claims are central to his campaign.

“For over a YEAR, Georgians begged Brad Raffensperger to investigate the 2020 election,” Hice tweeted on Tuesday, continuing to make the insinuation that Raffensperger — a fellow Republican — was somehow doing the dirty work of Democrats against Trump in 2020.

In the immediate aftermath of Election Day in 2020, many Georgia Republicans eagerly threw Raffensperger under the bus, demanding his resignation when he wouldn’t use his office to scrutinize Trump’s defeat in Georgia.

ExploreInside the campaign to undermine Georgia’s election

Unable to let go of his loss, Trump has helped make the 2020 elections a central issue in the Georgia GOP primary race for governor, as David Perdue carries the torch for Trump’s grudge against Gov. Brian Kemp.

“How can you certify something with so many questions around it?” Perdue said, criticizing Kemp for not embracing Trump’s evidence-free claims of fraud.

And when Trump endorsed Perdue over Kemp, 2020 was front and center.

“He (Kemp) caved to Stacey Abrams before the 2020 election and allowed massive election fraud to take place,” Trump said, all part of his broader campaign to undermine Georgia’s election results.

A few days later — over 13 months after the election — Perdue filed a lawsuit seeking to inspect Fulton County absentee ballots from 2020, trying to breathe life into one of Trump’s many claims.

Trump’s fascination with his 2020 defeat has not worked out well for the GOP in Georgia. The last time it was the election focus, Republicans managed to lose two seats in the U.S. Senate as well as the majority.

Those two GOP Senate runoff election losses came on Jan. 5. The next day, the Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters.

“Last year’s Jan. 6 insurrection was a traumatic event that shook our democracy to its core,” said U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia.

But one year later, the refuted and debunked Trump claims about the 2020 election still haven’t stopped.

ExploreTimeline: How the campaign to undermine Georgia's election unfolded
ExploreFive fraud claims: What investigators found

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com.