Georgia’s Secretary of State’s office opened a probe on Monday into former U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, a step that could lead to a criminal investigation by state and local authorities. Gloria Tso reports.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office on Monday opened an investigation into former U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss in the state.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had faced calls to open a probe after Trump was recorded in a January 2 phone call pressuring him to overturn Georgia’s election results based on unfounded voter fraud claims.
Trump urged Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to “find 11,780 votes,” the exact number he needed to win the state.
A spokesman for Raffensperger said the probe was prompted by a Monday complaint filed by a law professor at George Washington University, the fourth request he filed to investigate Trump’s potential election interference.
In a statement, Trump adviser Jason Miller said there was nothing quote “improper or untoward” about the call, adding that “If Mr. Raffensperger didn’t want to receive calls about the election, he shouldn’t have run for Secretary of State.”
Legal experts have noted that if Trump were prosecuted, he would likely argue he genuinely believed the election was rigged against him, noting that criminal laws normally requires guilty conscience or intent.
The investigation is just the latest legal battle Trump faces since losing constitutional protections of the U.S. Presidency, which shielded him from prosecution.
Trump is also facing a criminal probe into his business dealings, and several civil lawsuits.
A Georgia election official says once their investigation is complete, the Secretary of State’s office will write a report and present it to the state election board, who will then forward the matter to a local district attorney, or the state attorney general.