Georgia Prosecutors Opened A Criminal Investigation Into Trump's Attempt To Overturn The Election Results
"I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have," Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger days before Congress certified his loss.
Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, have opened a criminal investigation into the effort to overturn the 2020 election results, including a phone call in which former president Donald Trump pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" more votes for him, according to multiple reports.
The New York Times first reported that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sent a letter Wednesday asking several state officials — including Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp — to preserve documents related to Trump's call to Raffensperger on Jan. 2.
Though the letter does not mention Trump by name, it states that prosecutors are looking into potential criminal charges over "attempts to influence" the election in Georgia, the Washington Post reported.
“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.
Willis and her office did not respond to calls and emails from BuzzFeed News.
Leaked audio of the hourlong call between Trump and Raffensperger, who is a Republican, was first reported by the Washington Post in early January. In the recording, Trump berates and threatens the Georgia secretary of state, and tells him, "I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have."
Legal experts at the time described the call as amounting to "extortion." The call was cited in an article of impeachment approved by the House in January accusing Trump of attempting to "subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election."
For months, Trump, his campaign, and his allies repeatedly attempted to overturn the election results in key states that he lost to now-president Joe Biden. Those efforts include dozens of failed lawsuits, angry threats to state officials, support from Republican lawmakers including Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, and ultimately culminated in a violent insurrection at the Capitol the day Congress certified the results.
The DA's letter on Wednesday comes on the heels of Raffensperger's office announcing that it has begun investigating the call.
Georgia is the second state to launch a criminal investigation into Trump's activities. He is also facing criminal and civil investigations in New York, both related to tax fraud.