ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday appointed a special counsel to represent the Georgia Secretary of State's Office in the investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into former President Donald Trump's actions in Georgia during the 2020 election.
Kemp made the appointment of attorney Jack Sharman, of Birmingham-based Lightfoot, Franklin and White, by executive order.
The order noted that Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who would typically represent the Secretary of State's Office in any legal maters, "has declined representation of the Secretary of State in this matter." It did not explain why.
So far, the incident reportedly at the heart of the investigation is a call between former President Trump and Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump pressured the secretary to uncover what he insisted was fraud that would overturn Georgia's election results.
Willis said in February, though, that the call is not the only element of her investigation.
"We are investigating issues of anyone that, anyone or any actions that were attempting to influence that November election," Willis said. "So, obviously, it has been reported around the world that phone call. So we have said, 'yes that is part of the investigation.' But we aren't narrowing it to that."
"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 governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration," a letter sent by Willis in February to state officials stated.
While Sec. Brad Raffensperger does not appear to be a subject of the investigation, the secretary's office has been asked to preserve any records or documents that could be relevant to it. The office's legal representation would presumably, at a minimum, be tied to cooperation with such requests.
In March, Willis told the Associated Press she was in "no rush" with the investigation.