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Georgia secretary of state opens formal inquiry into controversial Trump phone call about election results

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that his office was investigating the controversial phone call made by former President Donald Trump to him about the results of the presidential election.

Raffensperger made the announcement Monday through a spokesperson, according to a CNN article.

“The Secretary of State’s office investigates complaints it receives,” said Walter Jones, a spokesperson for Raffensperger. “The investigations are fact-finding and administrative in nature. Any further legal efforts will be left to the Attorney General.”

Critics of the president pounced on a leaked recording of the Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger where it appeared that the former president was asking him to change the results of the election and declare him the winner of the state’s electoral votes.

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The recording was published by the Washington Post in early January.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said on the recording. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”

In another part of the recording , Trump tells Raffensperger to “find” more votes for him.

“So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said on the call. “Because we won the state.”

Democrats and other opponents of Trump said that the call proved he was trying to illegally change the results of the election. Trump later said there was nothing wrong with the call.

The findings of the inquiry could be turned over to the state’s board of election, which is controlled by Republicans, and they would determine whether to refer the matter for prosecution or not.

In December, Trump retweeted from his now-defunct account a claim by attorney Lin Wood that Raffensperger would be arrested and imprisoned for not changing the results of the election. He also falsely claimed that the brother of Raffensperger worked for China, but that was widely debunked.

Georgia is mentioned 50 times in a 50-page supporting document for the impeachment trial, WXIA-TV reported, and the state will play a major role in the argument to convict Trump in the trial. The impeachment trial begins Tuesday.

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