Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger speaks during a press conference on election results in Atlanta, Georgia, December 2, 2020.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters
The Fulton County, Georgia state attorney has opened a criminal investigation into a phone call made by then-President Donald Trump to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January asking the officer to “find” enough votes for him to undo his loss of election to Joe Biden.
Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis sent a letter to Raffensperger and other government officials asking for documents related to Trump’s highly unusual phone call to be retained, a state official with knowledge of the letter told NBC News.
Raffensperger’s office confirmed to CNBC that it received the letter on Wednesday, but declined to comment. The letter comes as the Senate is conducting impeachment proceedings against Trump that could end with the ex-president being banned from ever running for the White House again.
The letter states that the request is part of a criminal investigation that includes “potential violations of Georgian law, which include soliciting anti-fraud, false testimony to state and local government agencies, conspiracies, extortion and violations, however.” is not limited to the oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats in connection with the election administration. “
The letter was sent two days after Raffensperger’s office opened its own investigation into Trump’s call to the Secretary of State on Jan. 2.
This Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Fulton County’s Assistant District Attorney Fani Willis presents her closing arguments during a trial in Atlanta.
John Bazemore | AP
In that appeal, Trump said to Raffensperger: “I just want to do this: I only want to find 11,780 votes.”
That was the number of votes Trump took to overtake Biden’s leadership in Georgia, one of several states where Trump had to reverse his loss to the electoral college.
At the time, Trump and his allies were promoting a number of unsubstantiated claims that he lost the election due to widespread electoral fraud in states like Georgia.
The call to Raffensperger came four days before Trump called on supporters at a rally near the White House to help him fight the election results by getting Congress or Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to award Biden’s victory to confirm.
After that rally, thousands of Trump supporters gathered outside and then inside the U.S. Capitol, where Congress met in a joint session to confirm the results.
Five people died in connection with the riot, including a Capitol police officer.
Trump was charged by the House of Representatives with inciting a riot.
His Senate trial began Tuesday with a debate on whether a former president could be tried after he left office.
Evidence for the case is presented today.
– Hannah Miao contributed to this report.