The U.S. Justice Department has set its sights on Georgia’s new voter restrictions, filing a lawsuit in June challenging a number of the state’s recent changes. And Georgia’s top elections official is not taking the challenge kindly. Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s now-infamous secretary of state, is on a quest to find evidence that federal government lawyers colluded with voter advocacy groups—whether that evidence exists or not. Raffensperger is using the Freedom of Information Act, a sunshine law commonly used by journalists to obtain government documents and expose otherwise secret activity, to seek communications between the DOJ and voting rights groups. The Republican secretary of state told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that he wants to know if the DOJ is “bowing to pressure” from “liberal activist organizations” that had previously come out against the law, including the anti-discrimination Southern Poverty Law Center, Latino Community Fund Georgia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the disability advocacy group ADAPT, the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, and several Black churches and clergy groups. “We want to find out exactly: Are they listening to these outside organizations? Are they taking their orders from high command—which is actually Stacey Abrams and these liberal activist organizations,” he said. “Or are there actual liberal activists in the Department of Justice spinning these lawsuits out of whole cloth?” These groups sued to block the state’s controversial SB 202 law in May, and the DOJ followed suit the very next month with a petition that claims the law “was enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color.” Raffensperger finds the united front against the law suspicious. His FOIA request letter, dated Aug. 31, demands “all communications” between the DOJ and 62 different nonprofits, lawyers, and activists. The last person named on that list is the person largely considered Raffensperger’s local archenemy: Abrams, a Democratic politician there who turned her failed run for governor into a voter registration blitzkrieg that defied odds and turned the red state blue. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Raffensperger declined to say what he’d consider a smoking gun to prove his collusion charges, but he said that when all the information comes out, “then you’ll have an open and transparent opportunity for the American public to see who’s running the DOJ and where this is all coming from.” “ He knows there are no witches. We haven't been to the DOJ. We don't have any correspondence with the DOJ. ” — Marilyn R. Marks, executive director at Coalition for Good Governance While Raffensperger’s FOIA requests may seem targeted at undermining the DOJ’s legal case, they also might have a political motivation. Raffensperger became a target for conservatives and then-President Donald Trump during the former president’s efforts to overturn the election, and already, the Republican secretary of state is drawing some familiar criticism from liberal voting rights groups. “The list of organizations he’s targeting are full of Black and brown civil rights organizations, an Indigenous tribe, and Black churches. Accusations like these spikes death threats, and Brad knows this,” tweeted Hillary Holley, the organizing director for Fair Fight Action, the voter registration group Abrams started. “He knows there are no witches,” said Marilyn R. Marks, the executive director at Coalition for Good Governance, one of the nonprofits mentioned in the FOIA. “We haven’t been to the DOJ. We don’t have any c . . . read the full article here.