Trump investigates grand jury election to hear Raffensperger

The Georgian secretary of state is scheduled to appear before a special grand jury next week in an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others unlawfully attempted to interfere in the 2020 election in the state.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was called before the special grand jury on Thursday, according to a subpoena obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request. Five other people in his office received subpoenas in early June, and the office received a subpoena for documents. State Attorney General Chris Carr received a subpoena on June 21.

Trump directed his anger at Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, after the secretary of state refused to bow to pressure to reverse Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow presidential victory in Georgia. On Tuesday, Raffensperger won the Republican primary in his quest for re-election, beating a Trump-endorsed challenger.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation shortly after taking office in January 2021. She made it clear when she requested a special grand jury earlier this year that one purposes would be to issue subpoenas to people who might not otherwise cooperate.

The 23-member special grand jury and three alternates were selected on May 2, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversees the panel, said grand jurors would not begin meeting until in June.

Willis confirmed that his investigation includes reviewing a January 2021 phone call in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed for him to win the state.

Among the documents requested by the grand jury are anything that “remembers the events” surrounding that call, anything that “explains the conduct” of the president during that call, and any logs of phone calls between anyone in Raffensperger’s office. and Trump or his representatives.

They also demanded anything showing the results of the audit and manual recount of the 2020 presidential election results and a forensic audit of state voting materials, among other documents.

Others from the Secretary of State’s office subpoenaed are Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer; Ryan Germany, General Counsel; Chris Harvey, former Head of Electoral Divisions; Frances Watson, former chief investigator; and Victoria Thompson, a former executive assistant who is now a legislative liaison.

Willis also said his team is considering a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the U.S. attorney’s abrupt resignation in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during Georgia Legislative Committee hearings from December 2020 on the election.

Trump said his call with Raffensperger was “perfect” and said he had done nothing wrong. Graham also denied any wrongdoing.

It’s unclear exactly what charges Willis might choose to pursue against Trump or anyone else. In a letter she sent to senior state officials last year, she said she was investigating “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting solicitation of voter fraud, making false statements to state and local governments, conspiracy, racketeering, breach of oath and any involvement in violence or threats related to the administration of the election.”

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