Georgia officially launches investigation into Trump's demand for election official to 'find' votes for him

Georgia officially launches investigation into Trump's demand for election official to 'find' votes for him

Georgia is among the battleground states where Donald Trump and his allies vigorously fought the Electoral College victory of Now-President Joe Biden. But despite tremendous pressure from Trump and his supporters, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a conservative Republican, wouldn't budge — maintaining that Biden won the southeastern state fair and square. And now, journalist Chris Walker reports in Truthout, Raffensperger's office is launching an inquiry into Trump's underhanded efforts to have Georgia's presidential election results thrown out.

"The former chief executive, in trying to overturn the outcome of several state elections in order to remain in office, made a number of calls to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in early January, seeking to pressure officials to respond to his unfounded complaints," Walker explains. "Raffensperger's office recorded these conversations, perhaps knowing that the secretary of state might have a need for a record of them in order to challenge any contradictory comments from Trump later on. During the calls, Trump urged Raffensperger to 'find' votes for him, alleging, without evidence, that fraud in the presidential election within the state resulted in his loss to President Joe Biden."

In an official statement, Walter Jones — a spokesman for Raffensperger's office — noted, "The Secretary of State's office investigates complaints it receives. The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature. Any further legal efforts will be left to the attorney general."

After Raffensperger's office finishes its probe, the Georgia Election Board will decide whether or not to make a criminal referral to the Georgia Attorney General's Office. And at the county level, Walker notes, district attorneys can opt to pursue criminal charges against Trump if they believe they are appropriate.

Fulton County DA Fani Willis has described Trump's conversation with Raffensperger as "disturbing" and said she will pursue a criminal case against the former president if one is referred to her. Fulton County includes Atlanta, a Democratic stronghold in what was once a deep red state but has evolved into a swing state.

Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University, considers Trump's efforts to pressure Raffensperger problematic and told Politico, "The president asked, in no uncertain terms, the secretary of state to invent votes, to create votes that were not there."

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