Updated Jan 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Georgia secretary of state says Trump could face probe over taped election call

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that an Atlanta-area district attorney's office could investigate a phone call Saturday during which President Trump asked Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" to overturn President-elect Biden's victory in the state.

The big picture: Raffensperger said his own office is not likely to investigate the matter because Trump has also recently spoken with the office’s chief investigator, which may present a conflict of interest.

  • “I understand that the Fulton County district attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go,” Raffensperger said.

What's new: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said in a statement hours later that the secretary of state can refer the matter to her office after it completes its own probe, per WSB-TV. It is unclear whether Raffensperger's office will look into the call.

"It is my understanding from news reports that a member of the State Election Board has requested that the Secretary's Election Division investigate the call, after which the board can refer the case to my office and the state Attorney General."
"As I promised Fulton County voters last year, as District Attorney, I will enforce the law without fear or favor. Anyone who commits a felony in violation of Georgia law in my jurisdiction will be held accountable. Once the investigation is complete, this matter, like all matters, will be handled by our office based on the facts and the law."
— Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

Between the lines: The Saturday call may have violated laws prohibiting federal interference into statewide elections, but lawyers have said such a charge would be difficult to pursue, The New York Times writes.

  • Georgia State Election Board member David Worley, who supports President-elect Biden, asked Raffensperger to open an investigation into the call, per the Times.
  • “I’m not a lawyer. All I know is that we’re going to follow the law, follow the process," Raffensperger said Monday when asked if he felt Trump broke the law. "Truth matters. And we’ve been fighting these rumors for the last two months.”
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