Georgia Election Target of Criminal Probe That May Include Trump

The district attorney in Atlanta has opened a criminal investigation of attempts to influence 2020 election results, which may include a call by former president Donald Trump seeking help from state officials in overturning his loss to Joe Biden.

In a Feb. 10 letters to Governor Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other officials, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she’s focusing on possible solicitation of election fraud, conspiracy, racketeering and the threat of violence as part of attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia general election. She told them to preserve all records and documents related to the election.

The letter doesn’t mention Trump by name, but Willis said “it has come to our attention via media reports that contacts were made by subjects of the investigation with other agencies that could be investigating this matter, including the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia.”

In a recorded phone call last month, Trump can be heard demanding Raffensperger “find’ 11,780 votes for him, which would be just enough to reverse election results in the states. Raffensperger’s office said Monday it had begun its own investigation of the call that was “fact-finding and administrative in nature.”

The Georgia probe adds to the former president’s legal problems. He and his company, the Trump Organization, are being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney and New York attorney general. And an impeachment trial of Trump began Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, where a conviction would likely prevent him from running again in 2024.

“The timing here is not accidental given today’s impeachment trial,” said Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump. “This is simply the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump, and everybody sees through it.”

Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement, applauded the Georgia investigation. “Trump’s conduct violates not only the law, but the foundation on which our democracy is built,” Bookbinder said. “He may have been able to evade facing criminal charges as president, but he is no longer president.”

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