ATLANTA — Georgia officials this week launched an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the state’s election results, WSB-TV reported.
In early January, audio surfaced of a phone call between then-President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump could be heard urging officials to “find” enough votes to overturn his election loss to now-President Joe Biden. Biden took the state’s 16 electoral votes, with 2,474,507 votes to Trump’s 2,461,837, according to Raffensperger’s office.
“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said on the call, “because we won the state.”
In response, Raffensperger can be heard replying, “Well, Mr. President ... the data that you have is wrong.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wells is considering possible charges of conspiracy and racketeering in connection to the December phone call, according to WSB. In a letter sent Wednesday to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Willis asked officials to preserve all records related to the president’s call, WSB reported.
She described the investigation as a “high priority” for her office, according to WSB.
Raffensperger is also investigating several other unidentified incidents in which Trump attempted to sway officials to call the state in his favor. In a statement obtained by WSB, officials said the Secretary of State’s Office “investigates complaints it receives.”
“The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature,” the statement said. “Any further legal efforts will be left to the Attorney General.”
Typically, results from such investigations are turned over to the state election board for further action, if necessary. If the board decides more needs to be done, it can turn the investigation over to the state’s attorney general, who can decide whether to file charges against the former president, WSB reported.
Trump has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that he lost the November presidential election due to widespread voter fraud. Dozens of courts have rejected challenges from Trump and his attorneys, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr has said no evidence has surfaced to support Trump’s claim.
Georgia counted its votes three times before certifying the results in Biden’s favor by a 11,779-vote margin, according to WSB.