ATLANTA, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Weeks after the 2020 election, a Chicago publicist for hip-hop artist Kanye West traveled to the suburban home of Ruby Freeman, a frightened Georgia election worker who was facing death threats after being falsely accused by former President Donald Trump of manipulating votes. The publicist knocked on the door and offered to help.
The visitor, Trevian Kutti, gave her name but didn’t say she worked for West, a longtime billionaire friend of Trump. She said she was sent by a “high-profile individual,” whom she didn’t identify, to give Freeman an urgent message: confess to Trump’s voter-fraud allegations, or people would come to her home in 48 hours, and she’d go to jail.
Freeman refused. This story of how an associate of a music mogul pressured a 62-year-old temporary election worker at the center of a Trump conspiracy theory is based on previously unreported police recordings and reports, legal filings, and Freeman’s first media interview since she was dragged into Trump’s attempt to reverse his election loss.
So Freeman asked a neighbor to come over and talk with Kutti, who was with an unidentified male. Like Freeman, Kutti and the other visitor were Black. Kutti told the neighbor that Freeman was in danger and that she’d been sent to provide assistance. Freeman said she was open to meeting them. She asked Cobb County Police to send an officer to keep watch so she could step outside, according to a recording of her 911 call.
“They’re saying that I need help,” Freeman told the dispatcher, referring to the people at her door, “that it’s just a matter of time that they are going to come out for me and my family.”
An officer arrived and spoke with Kutti, who described herself as a “crisis manager,” according to the police incident report.
Kutti repeated that Freeman “was in danger” and had “48 hours” before “unknown subjects” turned up at her home, the report said. At the officer’s suggestion, the women agreed to meet at a police station. The officer’s report did not identify the man accompanying Kutti.
Inside the station, Kutti and Freeman met in a corner, according to footage from a body camera worn by an officer present at the meeting. Reuters obtained the video through a public-records request.
“I cannot say what specifically will take place,” Kutti is heard telling Freeman in the recording. “I just know that it will disrupt your freedom," she said, "and the freedom of one or more of your family members.”
“You are a loose end for a party that needs to tidy up,” Kutti continued. She added that “federal people” were involved, without offering specifics.