Sheriff’s deputies and bomb-sniffing dogs are on hand as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger arrived at a grand jury hearing inside the Fulton County Courthouse to testify against former President Donald Trump.
The moment is a culmination of D.A. Fani Willis’ investigation into whether the twice impeached Trump illegally interfered in and tried to overturn Georgia’s certified presidential election results.
When asked by Fox 5 Atlanta if he was nervous about testifying, Raffensperger replied:
“Not at all.”
Raffensperger is central to Willis’ investigation, as he was party to the now infamous call in which Trump asked the election certifier to “find” nearly 12,000 votes. Trump told Raffensperger, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Willis began her investigation in March 2021, a little over two months after the January 2nd call. In February, Willis’ office would be asked to investigate Trump’s interference by the watchdog group Citizens for the Responsibility of Ethics in Washington. According to the Associated Press, Noah Bookbinder – the group’s executive director – sent Willis a criminal complaint.
Telling the new D.A., “Trump’s conduct violates not only the law but the foundation on which our democracy is built.”
Willis would request Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher to impanel a special grand jury nearly a year later. Telling Judge Brasher that her office, according to local television news:
Has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions.
Almost six months later, the special grand jury is convened.
Testimony has begun.
Willis said in an interview with the I-Team’s Dale Russell, “We need to have elections. Elections have to be run in a way that the community has confidence in them.”
Secretary of State Raffensperger and his office have cooperated with the District Attorney, turning over requested documents. Several others present on the call, and witnesses to the conversation, are expected to be called to testify.
Since certifying Georgia’s results for Biden and refusing Trump’s “suggestion,” Raffensperger and his family were subject to death threats – even being escorted out of the state’s Capitol on January 6th. Raffensperger told Dale Russell that his wife received texts on her private number saying, “Your husband deserves to face a firing squad” and “The Raffenspergers should be put on trial for treason and face execution.”
Special security measures have been stepped up, including the closing of key streets leading to and from the Fulton County Courthouse.
Donald Trump has continued to claim that D.A. Willis’ case is nothing but a “witch hunt.”
Though Raffensperger has admitted that he considered the phone call with Trump to be “a threat,” he relayed this message to a Fox5 reporter:
“I heard what the President said, and I understand that he has tremendous positional power, but also I know that we followed the law, and we followed the constitution.”
View the interview here:
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick.
This story is developing as testimony continues into next week.
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