A local criminal investigation into then-President Donald Trump’s attempt to meddle with Georgia’s 2020 election recount is inching forward, as Fulton County investigators have interviewed elections officials and received documents from the agency, according to three people with direct knowledge of the probe. “They’ve asked us for documents, they’ve talked to some of our folks, and we’ll cooperate fully,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told The Daily Beast this week. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis previously revealed to The Daily Beast that she has spun up a new anti-corruption team to explore what state laws, if any, were broken when Trump and his allies tried to overturn election results there. But her office has been quiet about the matter in the five months since. Her investigators have since interviewed at least four officials at the secretary of state’s office, asking questions that show a particular interest in Raffensperger’s separate phone conversations with Trump and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, according to two of these sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Late last year, Raffensperger told The Washington Post that Graham called him a week after the hotly contested November election, asking if the state official could exercise his power to toss out mailed-in ballots in counties that had high rates of signatures that didn’t match those on file. Graham has since denied that he tried to get Raffensperger to dump legal ballots. Then there’s the Jan. 2 shakedown call between the White House and Raffensperger’s office. On that call—which was recorded and immediately leaked to The Washington Post—Trump pressured Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” that didn’t exist in order to erase Joe Biden’s lead and flip the election results. Raffensperger was on the call with his deputy secretary of state, Jordan Fuchs, and his agency’s top attorney, Ryan Germany. Trump also had several advisers on the call, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Cleta Mitchell, a star in the conservative legal community. As of Friday evening, Trump’s lawyers and spokeswoman did not provide comment for this story. Graham and Rudy Giuliani, a former top Trump attorney, also could not be reached for comment. On Friday, Mitchell, who played a prominent role in Trump’s pressure campaign on Georgia, did not have anything to say about the recent developments in the criminal investigation. Asked if investigators had made any effort to reach out to her in their ongoing probe, Mitchell simply said, “I don’t discuss that.” According to two sources, DA investigators interviewed a number of people around May who could have been influenced by the former president’s plea to find votes, including Germany, agency communications director Ari Schaffer, chief operating officer Gabriel Sterling, and the external affairs director who oversees the agency’s outreach programs, Sam Teasley. Germany is heard on the recorded call making a notable stand against Trump’s conspiracy theories when he said, “That’s not accurate, Mr. President.” Schaffer worked as a White House researcher in the first year and a half of the Trump administration. And Sterling briefly rose to national prominence last year when he delivered an exasperated speech to news reporters from a podium at the state Capitol demanding that the conspiracy-fueled threat of violence “has to stop.” “Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language,” Sterling said at the time. DA investigators asked general questions “about the Graham call, about the Trump call, about how things work at the office,” recalled one person who was present during an interview. “They genuinely wanted to understand: If you’re trying to influence, what were you trying to influence, and how would it have worked?” that person said. “ I did everything s . . . read the full article here.
Keywords: raffensperger, state, office, investigates, giuliani, investigators, georgia, trump, president, house, votes, investigation, trumps
ORG: DA, Post, State, Kraken, Capitol, Insider, White House, The Daily Beast, the White House, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, House Governmental Affairs Committee,
DATE: 2020, today, weeks, Friday, Jan. 2, a week, Dec. 10, November, last year, this week, this year, Dec. 3, 2020, a week later, Late last year, her first year, the five months, Earlier this summer, the first year and a half
MONEY: $100 million
PERSON: Rudy, Trump, Graham, Willis, Giuliani, Mitchell, Schaffer, Fani Willis, Sam Teasley, Ari Schaffer, Bill Stepien, Donald Trump, Jordan Fuchs, Mark Meadows, Ryan Germany, Jeff DiSantis, Joe Biden’s, Raffensperger, Rudy Giuliani, Cleta Mitchell, Donald Trump , Lindsey Graham, Gabriel Sterling, Sidney Powell’s, Brad Raffensperger,
CARDINAL: one, two, four, three, 11,780, 12,000, 96,600, at least four
WORK_OF_ART: Team Rudy