Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, have opened a criminal investigation into Trump’s January phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the New York Times first reported on Wednesday.
During the call, the former president can be heard pressuring state officials to “find” enough votes to help him overturn his election loss to Joe Biden. According to the Times, District Attorney Fani Willis sent a letter to Raffensperger and other state officials, including the Republican Governor Brian Kemp, directing them to preserve documents related to “an investigation into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.”
Trump is not named in the letter, but according to both the Times and CNN, “the probe concerns his phone call with Raffensperger.”
The letter says that the investigation will look at potential “solicitation of election fraud” and whether there was “any involvement in violence or threats” made in connection to the election.
“This investigation includes, but is not limited to, potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting 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,” the letter says.
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Trump could be heard threatening Raffensberger in the audio of the call obtained by the Washington Post in early January.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said during the call, adding, “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Trump continued to pressure the secretary of state, saying, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state… You should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican.”
In the months following the presidential election, the White House attempted to reach Georgia’s secretary of state office a whopping 18 times, until Raffensperger finally agreed to talk.
“I preferred not to talk when we were in litigation. We let the lawyers handle it. We took the call and had a conversation. He did most of the talking. We did most of the listening,” Raffensperger told ABC last month.
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