ATLANTA — Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he will cooperate with a Fulton County special grand jury that will investigate evidence of election interference. The grand jury will examine a recorded phone call made more than a year ago by then-President Donald Trump – in which Trump said he needed to “find” the Georgia votes needed to overturn the 2020 election.
"We will comply with any request we get from the grand jury," Raffensperger told 11Alive Friday.
Raffensperger was on the phone call when Trump implored him to find the votes he needed to win Georgia – weeks after Trump lost the 2020 election.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we had. Because we won the state," Trump was heard saying on the phone call with Raffensperger, which was recorded and released to the public.
Thursday, Fulton County Superior Court judges – at the request of District Attorney Fani Willis – decided to empanel a special grand jury to investigate whether there’s sufficient cause for a criminal case of election interference.
In her request, Willis said “a significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena.”
Raffensperger disputed the contention that his office declined to cooperate with Fulton investigators. "We fully cooperated," he said Friday.
But he also acknowledge that Willis requested an interview with him, and he declined. "Our response was, if you ask us to come before a grand jury, that’s the appropriate forum to give my testimony," Raffensperger said.
The special grand jury convenes in May. It will have subpoena power, but it won't have the power to return any indictments. The panel can make a recommendation on criminal charges.
Though he’s not a lawyer, Raffensperger said the tape recorded phone call with the former president has more value to investigators than an interview with him would.
"The conversation with President Trump is out there," he said. "It’s been out there for over a year."
Raffesnsperger, a Republican seeking re-election said the grand jury request has the whiff of partisan politics to it. Willis is a Democrat—and she made the request for the grand jury on the one-year anniversary of Joe Biden taking office.