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The Fulton County District Attorney’s office has launched a criminal probe into former President Trump’s attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results, including a call pressuring Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes for him. The county includes Atlanta, Georgia’s capital.
In a letter sent to state officials and obtained by Georgia Public Broadcasting, newly-elected Democratic district attorney Fani Willis said the investigation will look into several potential violations of state law, including “the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”
Read the letter here.
President Joe Biden narrowly win Georgia by about 12,00 votes. In the weeks following the election, Trump became almost singularly focused on overturning the state’s results, spreading false allegations of fraud all the way through a crucial Jan. 5 runoff that saw both U.S. Senate seats flip to Democrats after some of his strongest supporters stayed home.
The letter from prosecutors asked several state officials to preserve all records from administering the 2020 election, with “particular care” given to those that “may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering the election.”
In the hourlong call obtained by Georgia Public Broadcasting, an angry Trump alternately cajoled and castigated Georgia’s top elections official, seeking to have him toss out the November election that was counted three separate times and “find 11,780 votes” to declare Trump the winner.
Raffensperger, who was one of the more high-profile GOP figures to push back against Trump’s claims of election fraud, held firm. “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger said at one point. “We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.”
There were other calls made by Trump as well, including calls to Gov. Brian Kemp imploring him to call a special session for the legislature to select a Trump-aligned slate of electors and another to a lead investigator overseeing an audit of absentee ballot signatures in Cobb County.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not respond to requests for comment. The Georgia Secretary of State’s office only confirmed they received a letter and would not comment on its contents. News of the investigation comes after the Georgia State Election Board initiating an investigation into Trump’s actions to undermine Georgia’s election results earlier this week, an administrative step that could eventually see the board refer violations over to the state Attorney General’s office, currently led by Republican Christopher Carr.
Trump is also under criminal investigation in New York, where prosecutors are examining the former president’s finances in Manhattan and a civil fraud case by the state attorney general. And this week’s historic impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate refers to the president’s attempts to subvert the Georgia’s election results, though it is unlikely there are enough votes to convict him or bar him from holding office in the future.