Special counsel subpoenas Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger in January 6 probe

Politics

By Jason Morris and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the US Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.

Mike Hassinger, public information officer with the Georgia secretary of state’s office, confirmed that Raffensperger’s office has received a subpoena from Smith.

“At the request of the Justice Department, we have no further comment,” Hassinger said in an email to CNN.

The grand jury activity expands on previous investigative steps the Justice Department has taken to understand efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies in battleground states after the election.

Since Thanksgiving, Smith has brought a number of close Trump associates before a grand jury in Washington, DC, including two former White House lawyers, three of Trump’s closest aides, and his former speechwriter Stephen Miller.

Smith has also issued a flurry of subpoenas, including to election officials in battleground states where Trump tried to overturn his loss in 2020.

But Raffensperger could prove to be a particularly compelling witness. His profile grew after the 2020 election when he resisted Trump’s efforts to pressure him to “find” the votes necessary for Trump to win Georgia in an infamous January 2021 phone call.

In excerpts of the one-hour call, Trump lambasted his fellow Republican for refusing to falsely say that he won the election in Georgia and repeatedly touted baseless claims of election fraud.

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

Raffensperger responded, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

The Georgia Republican has already spoken with the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, and he testified publicly this summer about the threats he received after standing up to Trump.

It’s unclear how long Smith, who will also oversee the investigation into the potential mishandling of federal records taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House, may continue to work before deciding on any charges in the probes. While the investigations may result in charges within months, Smith could still spend time organizing and expanding his team, and continuing to pick through information that’s been collected, according to people familiar with parts of the probe.

This story has been updated with additional information Monday.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Katelyn Polantz, Kristen Holmes, Paula Reid and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.

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