Prosecutors in Georgia’s largest county have opened a criminal investigation into former President Trump’s phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urging him to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results, a spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday.
Frani Willis, the newly elected district attorney in Fulton County, has sent letters to several Georgia state officials, including Mr. Raffensperger, requesting they preserve documents related to the Trump call.
In addition to Mr. Raffensperger, Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and state Attorney General Chris Carr also received letters saying the documents could be used as part of a criminal probe.
“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,” Ms. Willis wrote.
The letter stated there is “no reason to believe any Georgia official is the target of this investigation.”
A grand jury is set to convene in March to weigh the matter, according to the letter.
The criminal probe is the latest legal jeopardy facing Mr. Trump, who left office last month. He is currently in the midst of a second impeachment trial, accused of stirring up the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Mr. Trump is also under investigation by prosecutors in New York for alleged financial crimes.
It is also the second investigation into the former president’s phone call with Mr. Raffensperger. Earlier this week, Georgia election officials opened a probe into the same call.
Walter Jones, a spokesman for the Georgia secretary of state’s office, described that probe as “fact-finding and administrative.”
“Any further legal efforts will be left to the attorney general,” Mr. Jones said.
During Mr. Trump’s Jan. 2 call, he repeatedly pressured Mr. Raffensperger over the state’s election results. President Biden won Georgia by fewer than 12,000 votes, one of the narrowest victories in the election.
Mr. Biden’s victory in Georgia was reaffirmed in three separate ballot counts.
“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Mr. Trump said in the call. “Because we won the state.”
Mr. Raffensperger pushed back against Mr. Trump, insisting there was no widespread fraud that could change the election’s outcome. He told Mr. Trump that he had the wrong data about election fraud.
The investigation was prompted by a complaint from George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf III, according to documents released by the secretary of state’s office.
Former prosecutors have claimed Mr. Trump’s phone call might run afoul of state election laws, including “intentional interference” in an election and “solicitation to commit election fraud.”