Prosecutors in Georgia's biggest county have opened a criminal investigation into former US president Donald Trump's attempts to influence the state's 2020 election results, ordering government officials to preserve documents in the second known criminal probe facing Trump.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sent letters to state officials, including Republicans Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp notifying them of the investigation and seeking to preserve "all records potentially related to the administration" of the state's November 3 election.
"This investigation includes, but is not limited to, potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election's administration," Willis said in the letters, dated February 10 and reviewed by Reuters.
The letters asked state officials to preserve records, including "those that may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering that election".
The investigation by Willis, a Democrat, is the most serious probe facing Trump in Georgia after he was recorded in a January 2 phone call pressuring Raffensperger to overturn the state's election results based on unfounded voter fraud claims.
Although the letters do not specifically name Trump, a spokesman for Willis said the investigation would include the former Republican president's January 2 call in which he urged Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to overturn his Georgia loss.
The transcript quotes Trump telling Raffensperger: "I just want to find 11,780 votes," which is the number Trump needed to win.
In addition to the January phone call, Trump made another call in December to Georgia's chief elections investigator, Raffensperger's office has said.
In a statement, Jason Miller, a senior Trump adviser, accused Democrats of attempting "to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against president Trump," adding "everybody sees through it".