Georgia District Attorney Launches Criminal Investigation Into Donald Trump's Effort To Overturn Election

Terrence Smith

On Tuesday, the Fulton County District Attorney's office opened a criminal investigation into actions taken by former President Donald Trump in an attempt to influence the election results in Georgia, as reported by NPR. The efforts include a phone call made by Trump during which he requested Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger "find" enough votes to secure his victory in the state.

Democratic District Attorney Fani Willis detailed the investigation in a letter to state officials, with potential state laws broken including "the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election's administration."

Georgia proved to be one of the closest contests during the 2020 presidential election, with Joe Biden securing victory by roughly 12,000 votes. Following the confirmation of the Democrat's victory, Trump pushed a false narrative of voter fraud in the state and took issue with Republican politicians there who didn't fully back him. His focus on the presidential election came to the detriment of the Republican candidates in the Georgia Senate runoff elections, which saw two Democratic victories on January 5 after members of Trump's base stayed home.

In the letter, Willis requested that all records from administering the 2020 election are preserved, with particular attention given to records that "may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering the election."

The most well-known example of Trump's alleged efforts to influence the election was the call made to Raffensperger, Georgia's top elections official. Despite the results confirmed after three recounts, the former president urged him to "find 11,780 votes" and declare him the winner.

"Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right," Raffensperger responded during the hour-long call.

Trump also made a call to Gov. Brian Kemp and sought to have him call a special session for the legislature to select a Trump-aligned slate of electors, as well as one to an investigator overseeing an audit of absentee ballot signatures in Cobb County. The state Senate held hearings into alleged voter fraud that featured Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, while the State Attorney General's office struck down several lawsuits that would have invalidated the state's votes.

The decision by the DA to launch an investigation follows the Georgia State Election Board's announcement that they were opening an investigation of their own into Trump's actions surrounding the election. The board could eventually turn over their findings to the District Attorney.