ATLANTA (AP) — While election officials in Georgia were verifying signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in one metro-Atlanta county, President Donald Trump pressured a lead investigator to “find the fraud.”
Trump allegedly said this would make the investigator a “national hero.”
The December call preceded Trump’s Jan. 2 call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger where he asked election officials to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state’s presidential election.
The call was described by a person familiar with it who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe the sensitive nature of the discussion.
The call was first reported Saturday by The Washington Post. Legal experts tell the newspaper that the president’s attempts to intervene in an ongoing investigation could amount to obstruction of justice or other criminal violations. However, they said a case would be hard to prove.
Raffensperger confirmed to The Post that Trump placed the call on Dec. 23, but said he wasn’t familiar with the specifics of the conversation. He did say it was inappropriate for the president to have tried to intervene in the case.