Georgia prosecutors said Wednesday that they have opened a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s phone call to its secretary of state asking to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in the November election.
Ironically, the text of the phone calls played a prominent role in the House of Representatives’ second impeachment of the 45th president and is expected to play a central role in this week’s Senate trial.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had promised to look into Trump’s actions following the Jan. 2 telephone call.
“Anyone who commits a felony violation of Georgia law in my jurisdiction will be held accountable,” Willis said in a statement last month. “Once the investigation is complete, this matter, like all matters, will be handled by our office based on the facts and the law.”
In the call, Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to seek enough votes to negate his loss in the state to Joe Biden, part of Trump’s ultimately failed effort to change the Electoral College results that declared Biden the winner of the general election.
“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump told Raffensperger.
During his Jan. 6 rally that led to the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Trump told his supporters about the phone call.
“In Georgia, your secretary of state, who — I can’t believe this guy is a Republican. He loves recording telephone conversations,” Trump told the large gathering. “You know, that was a — I thought it was a great conversation, personally. So did a lot of other — people love that conversation because it says what’s going on. These people are crooked.”
In the impeachment legislation, Congress members wrote that the president “demonstrated that he would remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
Further, the resolution stated, “President Trump warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
Specifically, the resolution identified the call to Raffensperger urging him to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results.
“We cannot allow this unprecedented provocation to go unanswered,” House members said in a statement. “Everyone involved in this assault must be held accountable, beginning with the man most responsible for it – President Donald Trump. We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic.”