You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Georgia opened an inquiry into Trump's January phone call pressuring the state's top election official to 'find 11,780 votes' to help him win

Business Insider logo Business Insider 2/9/2021 (Azmi Haroun)
a statue of a man in a suit standing in front of a building: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of Georgia outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on April 6. Associated Press © Associated Press Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of Georgia outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on April 6. Associated Press
  • Georgia is investigating a call Donald Trump made as his presidency wound down.
  • On the call, Trump asked Georgia's secretary of state to "find votes" to help him win.
  • David Worley, a Democratic state election official, said the inquiry could preface criminal charges.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has opened an investigation into former President Donald Trump over his efforts to pressure Georgia state officials to illegally overturn legitimate election results, Reuters reported.

Raffensperger's office said that the inquiry was "fact-finding and administrative in nature" and that findings would be referred to the Republican-majority Georgia board of elections.

The investigation centers on a call Trump made to Raffensperger in January, during Trump's final days in office, when the president asked the state's top official to "find 11,780 votes" to help him win Georgia.

Raffensperger, a Republican, pushed back against Trump's claims during the call that cast doubt on the integrity of the election. Election officials across Georgia disputed Trump's claims that the election was fraudulent or unfair.

Once the state completes its investigation into the call, it could refer findings to the state's attorney general or elsewhere for prosecution.

"The secretary of state's office investigates complaints it receives," Walter Jones, a spokesman for the office, told Reuters in a statement Monday. "The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature. Any further legal efforts will be left to the attorney general."

The New York Times reported that Fani Willis, the Democratic district attorney of Fulton County, was also considering launching a criminal inquiry into Trump's actions.

Trump also repeatedly called and pressured Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, and taunted him on Twitter in an attempt to have Kemp call a special legislative session to overturn the state's election results.

David Worley, the only Democrat on Georgia's elections board, told Reuters the administrative inquiry could preface criminal charges.

"Any investigation of a statutory violation is a potential criminal investigation depending on the statute involved," he said, adding, "The complaint that was received involved a criminal violation."

Worley also said he would initiate a motion at Wednesday's elections board meeting to formally refer the inquiry to the Fulton County district attorney's office.

Jason Miller, a senior advisor to Trump, told the Associated Press there was "nothing improper or untoward about a scheduled call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and lawyers on both sides."

Insider has reached out to the Trump Organization, the Georgia secretary of state's office, and the state election board for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More from Business Insider

Business Insider
Business Insider
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon