Sen. Lindsey Graham’s post-election phone call to a Georgia official will be part of an investigation in the state into possible election interference, a source told The Washington Post on Friday.
The call, made by the South Carolina Republican to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, will be included in a criminal probe into whether former president Donald Trump — or his supporters — broke state laws while trying to reverse his loss to Joe Biden, according to the newspaper.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will scrutinize the Nov. 13 call in which Graham asked Raffensperger if he had the power to toss out all mail-in ballots, as the secretary of state later described it in an interview. Raffensberger told the Post that the senator appeared to be asking him to improperly set aside legally cast ballots.
Graham has denied that characterization. A spokesperson told the Post that the senator was only seeking to better understand how mail-in votes were certified in Georgia, and that the idea that he had done anything improper was “ridiculous.”
A spokesman for Willis said Friday that the office is investigating “all attempts” to improperly influence the administration of Georgia’s election.
Willis and Raffensperger’s office are already also investigating Trump’s startling phone call to the secretary of state in early January, in which the then-president told him to “find” enough votes to upend the results and make Trump, not Biden, the winner in the state.
In his Jan. 2 bombshell phone call, Trump was recorded telling Raffensperger, a Republican: “All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes.”
Trump added: “There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.” At one point he pleaded: “Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.”
Raffensperger’s office characterized the probe of that phone call as a “fact-finding” review and “administrative in nature,” initiated in response to complaints. “Any further legal efforts will be left to the attorney general,” said a spokesperson.
Willis announced two days later that she was launching a criminal probe into the former president’s call and into any other possible attempts to interfere in the election.
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