Even though an ongoing U.S. Senate impeachment trial seems destined to end in an acquittal, former President Donald Trump might not necessarily be in the clear.
In Georgia, for example, prosecutors recently opened a criminal investigation into a phone call Trump made to GOP state official Brad Raffensperger, Fox News reports.
“Attempts to influence the administration”
As Fox noted, Trump attracted bipartisan criticism at the time for expressing his desire for the secretary of state to help “find” enough votes to overturn his loss to Joe Biden in November’s presidential election.
A recording of the conversation was leaked last month and prompted calls for a second impeachment — if not Trump’s prosecution.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis laid out the scope of her agency’s probe in a letter to state officials that asked them to preserve all records related to the administration of the Georgia election process, specifically “evidence of attempts to influence” the race.
“This letter is notice that the Fulton County District Attorney has opened an investigation into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election,” she wrote, according to The New York Times.
Willis also noted that the “high priority” investigation encompasses alleged “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.”
“Not a witness to the conduct”
Willis asserted that her office is uniquely positioned to investigate the matter without conflict because it is “not a witness to the conduct that is the subject of the investigation,” adding that she plans to request grand jury subpoenas next month. She explained that no state officials are currently targets of the probe.
Trump’s controversial call has also figured into the presentation being delivered by Democratic House impeachment managers seeking to convict Trump in the Senate for allegedly inciting an insurrection.
With 17 Republicans needed to join Democrats to achieve that goal, however, an acquittal appears all but certain.
The former president’s lawyers argue that he did not provoke the riot and that he maintained a First Amendment right to question the election results, insisting that the impeachment effort is unconstitutional and fueled by partisan anger.
For his part, Trump adviser Jason Miller claimed that the timing of the Georgia probe was suspicious and likely constituted part of a “witch hunt” against Trump that continues to follow him even after leaving office.