Investigators from the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith will be conducting an interview with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of a federal investigation into attempts to undermine the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election.
The interview will likely center around Trump’s January 2021 phone call to Raffensperger in which he pressured him to “find” the necessary votes to secure a victory for Trump in the state of Georgia.
Federal election law makes it a crime for a person "who in any election for federal office knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a state of a fair and impartially conducted election process."
Raffensperger Perceived Trump’s Call as a Threat
According to his book Integrity Counts, Raffensperger felt that, during the phone call, Trump was going so far as to threaten him into going along with Trump’s plan to subvert the election results by suggesting Raffensperger might be prosecuted for a crime if he did not comply with the former president's demands.
Subsequently, some of Trump's followers threatened Raffensperger, his family, and other election workers in Georgia.
Trump's Defense and Additional Investigation
Donald Trump has continued to maintain his innocence, claiming that his conversation with Raffensperger was an "absolutely perfect phone call."
That call and related attempts to interfere with the 2020 election including an effort to install fake electors are also being investigated by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. She convened a special grand jury of ordinary Georgians to investigate potential racketeering and conspiracy charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. That special grand jury submitted a report recommending charges against multiple individuals, but the specific charges and individuals have not been publicly disclosed. These recommendations, as well as evidence and witness testimony, will be considered by a regular grand jury after the DA announces any charges.
In August, District Attorney Willis is expected to disclose whether any charges will be filed as a result of the investigation into election interference in Georgia.