Georgia’s secretary of state’s office has opened an investigation into a phone call between Donald Trump and the state’s top elections official.
During the Jan. 2 call, then-President Donald Trump told Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger he wanted to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in the state. Walter Jones, a spokesman for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, confirmed that the investigation was opened Monday.
Trump had refused to accept his loss to Democrat Joe Biden and focused much of his attention on Georgia, a traditionally red state that he narrowly lost.
During the Jan. 2 phone call, Trump repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could change the certified results, an assertion the secretary of state firmly rejected.
President Joe Biden won the state by .5%, or nearly 12,000 votes. Georgia was one of five states won by Biden that Trump carried in 2016.
Election officials in Georgia were a frequent target by Trump and his supporters for misinformation surrounding the 2020 election. The misinformation became so fever pitched, Raffensperger’s top election deputy Gabriel Sterling issued a strong statement condemning the rhetoric.
I can't begin to explain the level of anger I have right now over this. And every American, every Georgian, Republican and Democrat alike should have that same level of anger.”
Sterling said that Trump had the right to contest the election in court, but added, “You need to step up and say this, is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone's going to get hurt. Someone's going to get shot. Someone's going to get killed, and it's not right."
The recording of Raffensperger's phone call with Trump is expected to be used against Trump by prosecutors during his Senate impeachment trial, which is slated to start on Tuesday.