Trump Rails Against Georgia Gov. Kemp for Consent Decree Aimed at Helping Minority Voters

President Donald Trump criticized Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for a second day as he continues to allege irregularities in the state's votes without evidence.

The president also took aim at Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is a Republican, and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat.

"The Consent Decree signed by the Georgia Secretary of State, with the approval of Governor @BrianKempGA, at the urging of @staceyabrams, makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes, etc," Trump wrote.

"They knew they were going to cheat. Must expose real signatures!" he said.

In a second tweet on Saturday, the president added: "..What are they trying to hide. They know, and so does everyone else. EXPOSE THE CRIME!"

Twitter tagged both tweets with warnings that Trump's "claim about election fraud is disputed."

The president appears to be referring to a consent decree from earlier in 2020 which concerned signature matching on mail-in ballots. Abrams spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the decree on October 4.

"[Y]ou could always vote by mail, that was never a problem. The issue was they threw out your ballot if there was a signature mismatch, which was twice as likely if you were Black or Latino, five times as likely if you're young," Abrams said.

"And a fairly high percentage of immigrants had their ballots thrown out. We were able to get a consent decree earlier this year where you'd get to fix your ballot if they think there's a problem."

A consent decree is an agreement entered into by parties to settle a dispute without admission of guilt or liability. As such, it was necessary for the state of Georgia to agree to it. This is what Trump has complained about on Twitter.

Greg Bluestein, a political reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was quick to criticize Trump's tweet, calling it "riddled with inaccuracies," while Marc Elias, an attorney specializing in election law who acts on behalf of Democrats, called the claims "a complete lie."

Philip Stark, a statistician at University of California, Berkeley, agreed with Abrams' assessment about signature mismatches disproportionately affecting minorities in Georgia.

"[The state of Georgia] has done whatever they can possibly do with selective disenfranchisement: challenging Black voters' signatures at a substantially higher rate than they challenge white voters' signatures; disproportionately allocating voting equipment so that majority-minority precincts don't get enough equipment, generating long lines," he said, according to an article published by UC Berkeley on Friday.

"It is just a complete mess from top to bottom. And this time, even those attempts to disenfranchise don't seem to have quite tipped the presidential ballot."

The consent decree came into focus again this week when well-known Georgia attorney L. Lin Wood filed suit against Raffensperger, claiming the secretary of state "unilaterally, and without the approval or direction of the Georgia General Assembly, changed the process for handling absentee ballots in Georgia, including those case in the general election."

Raffensperger's deputy, Jordan Fuchs, called the suit a "Silly baseless claim— grasping."

"Signature match is intact and the General Assembly passed legislation to allow voters who failed to include a signature time to add one," Fuchs said.

"We strengthened signature match, and will continue to do so, period."

However, the president has highlighted the consent decree as part of his campaign's ongoing claims of voter fraud, which are unsubstantiated. They have filed lawsuits in several states.

"Georgia Secretary of State, a so-called Republican (RINO), won't let the people checking the ballots see the signatures for fraud. Why? Without this the whole process is very unfair and close to meaningless. Everyone knows that we won the state," Trump tweeted on Friday.

"Where is @BrianKempGA?" he asked.

Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, a Republican and ally of the president, made a similar complaint about the consent decree in an interview with Newsmax TV on Friday. He claimed it had "gutted our verification process" for absentee ballots.

Georgia has not called a winner in the 2020 presidential election as of yet by the Associated Press, and a hand recount is currently taking place in the state. The last time Georgia backed a Democratic presidential candidate was in 1992, when voters chose Bill Clinton.

Correction 1:37 PM ET: An earlier version of this story implied Georgia was called for President-elect Joe Biden. A winner has not yet been called by the Associated Press.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference announcing statewide expanded COVID testing on August 10, in Atlanta. President Trump has taken aim at Kemp after Georgia was called for former Vice President Biden. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images