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Georgia prosecutor opens criminal probe into attempts to influence 2020 election

Fani Willis, Clint Rucker
Posted at 10:01 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 12:01:56-05

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia prosecutor said in a letter that she has opened a criminal investigation into “attempts to influence” the outcome of last year’s general election.

Former President Donald Trump was not specifically named in the letter, but he has come under intense criticism for a call he made to the state’s top elections official.

In the letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger obtained by The Associated Press and NBC News, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis informs him an investigation has been opened and that all records related to the administration of the election should be preserved.

The New York Times was the first to report on the investigation and said it will include a probe into the phone call Trump made to Raffensperger, during which the former president pressured the state official to “find” enough votes to help reverse his loss.

The probe appears to be wide-reaching in scope.

“This investigation includes, but is not limited to, potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting 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,” wrote Willis.

The letter doesn’t explicitly name a target of the investigation, but Willis wrote that there’s “no reason to believe that any Georgia official is a target” at this stage.

The letter also says the next Fulton County grand jury is set to convene in March and the prosecutor’s office will begin requesting grand jury subpoenas as necessary at that time.

The investigation comes as Trump faces a second impeachment trial for allegedly inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The violence from his supporters came after weeks of false claims that Trump was defeated in November because of purported election fraud in swing states, including Georgia, where Joe Biden won by around 12,000 votes.