Fulton County authorities have launched an investigation into alleged attempts to influence Georgia’s 2020 elections including a call former President Donald Trump made in January pressuring state election officials to overturn his losing results.
In a letter sent Feb. 10, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis notified several state officials her office is investigating possible illegal acts of soliciting election fraud, false statements, conspiracy and racketeering stemming from the Nov. 3 general election.
Trump, who is not mentioned by name in the letter, made a series of widely publicized phone calls in the waning days of his tenure to Georgia officials including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse his 11,779-vote loss in the state to current President Joe Biden.
The call has since become part of a second round of impeachment proceedings leveled at Trump over alleged moves to influence the 2020 elections and incite violence among supporters who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Willis, who defeated former longtime Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard last summer, said in her letter investigators would soon start issuing subpoenas ahead of empaneling a grand jury in March.
Her letter was sent to several state officials who had contact with subjects of the investigation including Raffensperger, Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and members of the General Assembly. It was obtained by Capitol Beat News Service and other news outlets on Wednesday.
“I know we all agree that our duty demands that this matter be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted in a manner that is free from any appearance of conflict of interest or political considerations,” Willis said.
“The Fulton County District Attorney’s office will conduct itself in a manner that will build public confidence in our elections, our law enforcement system and our judicial process.”
Trump’s claims of election fraud in Georgia were roundly rejected by federal courts and Republican officials including Raffensperger and Kemp, who quickly became targets of the former president’s anger.
Several Republican-led hearings were held in the General Assembly in the weeks after the Nov. 3 that allowed former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani — Trump’s personal attorney at the time — and others to air a host of fraud claims that went largely unchecked.
Despite lacking evidence, the fraud claims have prompted Republican state lawmakers to prepare a package of bills in the 2021 legislative session aimed at boosting requirements for Georgians to prove their identity to vote by mail, following record numbers of absentee ballots cast in the 2020 elections.