ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is scheduled to speak to federal prosecutors from the office of special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss.
In a rambling phone call on Jan. 2, 2021, Trump suggested Raffensperger, the top elections official in Georgia, could help “find” the votes necessary to reverse Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow presidential election win in the state. The call came after Trump and his allies spent weeks insisting without evidence that widespread election fraud was the cause of his loss in Georgia and publicly berating Raffensperger for failing to take steps to reverse it.
The secretary of state’s office on Tuesday confirmed that he would speak to special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors Wednesday in Atlanta. The planned interview was first reported by The Washington Post.
Efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his loss in Georgia are also the subject of a separate investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Atlanta. Raffensperger testified before a special grand jury in that case last June. Willis has indicated that she will announce charging decisions later this summer.
Raffensperger previously received a subpoena from Smith’s team for communications “to, from or involving” Trump, his campaign, lawyers and aides. Similar subpoenas were sent to officials in other states and counties that Trump and his allies targeted as they tried to overturn the election.
Smith was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead teams investigating the actions by Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the 2020 election, including the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and Trump’s handling of classified documents. The documents investigation resulted in a 38-count indictment against Trump and his valet Walt Nauta earlier this month. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 37 counts against him. Nauta’s arraignment was set for Tuesday but has been delayed until next week.
Additionally, a Manhattan grand jury in March indicted him on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush-money payments to a porn actor during the 2016 presidential election.
Kate Brumback, The Associated Press