Threats and Tensions Rise as Trump and Allies Attack Elections Process

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and the former mayor of New York, have made blanket attacks against cities with large Black populations like Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia, painting those places in evidence-free tirades as too corrupt to be trusted to hold honest elections.

The extraordinary assault on the voting system by the president and his allies has taken on added intensity as the certification deadlines in several states approach in the next two weeks. The certification of results will further forestall Mr. Trump’s attempt to overturn his unambiguous loss.

Barring some breakthrough in a legal push that continues apace, the president’s strategy appears to center on disrupting the process through which states finalize their vote counts and submit their delegate slates to the Electoral College.

Republicans’ attempts to follow his lead in Wayne County failed in the face of angry Detroit residents who were outraged by what they saw as an open attempt to disenfranchise them. A public comment session with hundreds of voters and civil rights leaders rippled into a three-hour uproar, as they condemned the fact that two white officials were threatening the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of Black voters.

“You look at Black cities and you have extracted a Black city out of the county and said the only one at fault is the city of Detroit, where 80 percent of the people who reside there are African-Americans,” exclaimed the Rev. Wendell Anthony, the president of the Detroit chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., his face almost touching the computer screen. “Shame on you,” he added. “You are a disgrace.”

“But on Jan. 20, 2021, at 12 noon,” he said, “no matter what you do, the president of the United States will be Joseph Biden and the vice president, for the first time ever, will be a Black woman named Kamala Harris.”

“Do you know how many young Black teenagers voted for the first time this year?” said Benita Bradley of Detroit during the Zoom call on Tuesday night. “And you sit here and slap those people in the face. What you are doing to brown and Black people in this community makes you part of the problem, you are the problem. You are the reason why young kids don’t see the promise in voting. But our country will go forward. We will unify.”

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