- “I just want to find 11,780 votes.” This is what then-US President Donald Trump said by phone to Election Commissioner Brad Ravensberger in early January.
- Authorities are now investigating the phone call after a complaint from a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.
- The allegation: Trump may have violated one or more of the laws of Georgia, including inciting voting fraud.
According to consistent reports in the US media, the investigation relates to Trump’s alleged attempt to influence the election outcome in the Georgia presidential election – even when rival Joe Biden was actually the winner. The focus appears to be on a phone conversation between Donald Trump and Brad Ravensberger.
Trump had refused to accept his loss to Democrat Joe Biden, and had been focusing his efforts to cancel the election on Georgia. Biden just won that. In the said phone conversation with Raffensperger on January 2, Trump repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could alter the approved results, which the latter vehemently rejected. Recordings of the conversation can be heard as Trump says: “All I want to do is do it. I just want to find 11,780 votes. Because we won the country.”
Starting point of the investigation: a complaint
Authorities are investigating the incident after a complaint from a professor at the University of Washington School of Law. The complainant alleges that Trump may have violated one or more of the laws of Georgia, including inciting electoral fraud. “Our agency is investigating the complaints we receive. The investigations are fact-based and of an administrative nature. The agency writes that all other legal efforts are left to the Attorney General.”
A senior Trump adviser said in a statement that there was nothing “inappropriate or unwanted” in the call between Trump and Ravensberger.
Investigators will now present their findings to the state’s electoral council, which will then decide how to proceed. If this board believes there is evidence of a crime, they can refer the case to the Attorney General.