ATLANTA — The Georgia Secretary of State’s office on Monday have confirmed the opening of an investigation into the Jan. 2 phone call between Donald Trump and the state’s top elections official in which the then-president said he wanted to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in the state, an official said.
ATR News has been able confirm the investigation Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s spokesperson Walter Jones.
During the Jan. 2 phone call, Trump repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could change the certified results, a claim that the secretary of state firmly rejected and stated could not happen.
“The Secretary of State’s office investigates complaints it receives. The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature. Any further legal efforts will be left to the Attorney General,” Jones wrote in a statement.
Trump continuously refused to accept his loss against Democrat Joe Biden and had focused much of his attention on the state of Georgia, a state that traditionally votes Republican. The state turned blue after nearly two decades.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”
The investigation is stemed from a complaint by George Washington University Law School professor John Banzhaf III, according to the investigative case sheet.
According to a press release that was sent Jan. 4, Banzhaf said he had filed a complaint with the secretary of state’s office requesting “that this matter be fully investigated, and action be taken to the extent appropriate.” The complaint suggests Trump may have committed one or more violations of Georgia law, including conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with the performance of election duties, the release says.
Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, said in a statement that there was “nothing improper or untoward about a scheduled call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and lawyers on both sides.”
Investigators will present their findings to the state election board, which will then decide how to proceed. If the board believes there’s evidence that a crime occurred, it could take action ranging from issuing a letter of reprimand to referring the case to Georgia’s attorney general.
ATR News Social Media Editor Norman Malecki in Columbus, OH contributed to this report. Some reporting may be from other sources.