The Georgia secretary of state’s office is investigating former President Donald Trump for pressuring the state’s elections officials to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“The Secretary of State’s office investigates complaints it receives,” said Walter Jones, spokesperson for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in a Monday statement after confirming the investigation to POLITICO.
The investigation is centered on a Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger where the soon-to-be former president urged Georgia’s top election official to “find” additional votes. Trump has repeatedly denied his loss in the state, which President Joe Biden won by 0.2 percentage points.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said during the phone call, first revealed by The Washington Post.
The investigation by Raffensperger’s office is in a fact-finding stage, Jones said, and any further legal action would be conducted by the state’s attorney general, Chris Carr. Carr’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters first reported the investigation into Trump on Monday.
Jason Miller, Trump’s senior adviser, retorted in a statement Monday that there was “nothing improper or untoward about a scheduled call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and lawyers on both sides.”
“If Mr. Raffensperger didn’t want to receive calls about the election, he shouldn’t have run for Secretary of State. And the only reason the call became public was because Mr. Raffensperger leaked it in an attempt to score political points,” Miller said.
Raffenseperger said last month that an investigation into Trump would be unlikely to be conducted by his office, but wouldn’t rule out at the time a criminal probe by the Atlanta-area district attorney.
Georgia elections officials, including Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, repeatedly affirmed up until Inauguration Day that the final election results were fair and pointed to a Biden victory. Raffensperger rebuffed Trump during their phone call, telling him: “The data you have is wrong.”
House Democrats cited the phone call in their article of impeachment, charging Trump with willfully inciting an insurrection.
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