Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Georgia prosecutors launch criminal probe into Trump efforts to influence election

PoliticsFeb 10, 2021 04:06PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress in Washington

By Linda So

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Georgia’s biggest county have opened a criminal investigation into former U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts to influence the state’s 2020 election results, ordering government officials to preserve documents in the second known criminal probe facing Trump.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sent letters to state officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp, both Republicans, notifying them of the investigation and seeking to preserve “all records potentially related to the administration” of the state’s Nov. 3 election.

The investigation includes “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration,” Willis said in the letters, dated Feb. 10 and seen by Reuters.

The investigation by Willis, a Democrat, is the most serious probe facing Trump in Georgia after he was recorded in a Jan. 2 phone call pressuring Raffensperger to overturn the state's election results based on unfounded voter fraud claims.

Although the letters do not specifically name Trump, a spokesman for Willis said the investigation would include the former Republican president’s Jan. 2 call in which he urged Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to overturn his Georgia loss to Democrat Joe Biden. The transcript quotes Trump telling Raffensperger: "I just want to find 11,780 votes," which is the number Trump needed to win.

Prosecutors in Willis’ office have already begun reviewing Trump’s Jan. 2 call and relevant case law to assess the strength of potential charges against Trump, according to two people familiar with the investigation. Willis has also recently hired several high-level prosecutors who could be assigned to work the case if it goes to trial, the sources said.

In addition to the January phone call, Trump made another call in December to Georgia’s chief elections investigator, Raffensperger’s office has said.

In a statement, Jason Miller, a senior Trump adviser, accused Democrats of attempting "to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump," adding "everybody sees through it.”

The letters, which were first reported by The New York Times, asked state officials to preserve records, including “those that may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering that election.” Willis' office will begin requesting grand jury subpoenas as soon as March, the letters said.

“HIGH PRIORITY”

The Georgia probe highlights the growing legal cases Trump faces after leaving the White House and losing the presidential protections that shielded him from prosecution. An investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr into Trump’s business dealings has intensified in recent months, Reuters reported this week.

Legal experts say Trump's phone calls may have violated at least three state criminal election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, and intentional interference with performance of election duties. The possible felony and misdemeanor violations are punishable by fines or imprisonment.

“His intent was to influence the secretary of state in the performance of his duties and to have him manufacture votes to affect the election and that’s crystal clear in the tape,” said Michael Moore, the former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia and a former Democratic state senator. “He’s simply calling to flip the election in his favor.”

If Trump were prosecuted, he would likely argue that he genuinely believed the election was rigged against him, the experts said, noting that criminal laws generally require a guilty state of mind or a deliberate intent to carry out a crime - and that this may be a high hurdle to clear in this case.

On Monday, Raffensperger opened his own fact-finding investigation into the call.

"This matter is of high priority,” Willis wrote. “I am confident that as fellow law enforcement officers sworn to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and Georgia, our acquisition of information and evidence of potential crimes via interviews, documents, videos and electronic records will be cooperative.”

Raffensperger’s office declined to comment.

Willis was sworn in last month as the first woman and second African-American to hold the job of top prosecutor in Georgia’s most populous county, a region that encompasses most of the state capital Atlanta. The county overwhelmingly backed Biden in the Nov. 3 presidential election, part of a historic shift in the once-reliably Republican state.

Georgia prosecutors launch criminal probe into Trump efforts to influence election
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (5)
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Feb 10, 2021 6:26PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Kemp knows his political career is over in Georgia as is the sos
James Pattison
James Pattison Feb 10, 2021 5:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Where were charges for russia pee pee dossier lies and propaganda... im living in a george orwell novel
James Pattison
James Pattison Feb 10, 2021 5:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
This is just evidence he acrually won the election
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Feb 10, 2021 2:27PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Thieves and criminals are screaming that Trump is bad.
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Feb 10, 2021 12:09PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
They dont want to allow a proper audit, yet they want to charge DT for questioning unexplain patterns in the results/ballots. Typical guilty reaction
Me comment
Me comment Feb 10, 2021 12:09PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Why should there be an audit when no physical evidence of fraud has been give', just vocal claims. There were audits and recounts and still no voter fraud found. You uneducated trump supports need to join the real world and get out of trumps fantasy world.
Jose Soberanes
Jose Soberanes Feb 10, 2021 12:09PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  There has been a TON of physical evidence. You probably don't see if because your nose is stuck on CNN. If you haven't read or seen it, it is because you choose to ignore it...most uneducated people live off of assumptions and opinions!
Dugan Webb
Dugan Webb Feb 10, 2021 12:09PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
For all your education that you hold so dearly; I'm surprised you don't use proper grammer while bashing those who are less privileged than yourself. Just more of the same now typical liberal hypocrisy always on display! Now go put your mask back on before you hurt yourself from overly thinking.
Me comment
Me comment Feb 10, 2021 12:09PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Jose and Dugan or it mutt and jeff if there was evidence trump would have put it on display from the oval office. I just laugh at the fools that follow a narcissist, look up, if you can figure out how, the definition.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Feb 10, 2021 12:09PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  get some dislikes, lol.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email