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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger testifies before special grand jury in Trump election probe

Georgia's top elections official spent approximately 6 hours at the Fulton County Courthouse on Thursday as a special grand jury heard from its first witnesses.

ATLANTA — A special grand jury in Fulton County heard testimony from its first witnesses on Thursday. They are investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to meddle in the 2020 election in Georgia

One of the witnesses, Secretary of State Raffensperger, could perhaps provide some of the most important information the jury will hear. Raffensperger received a subpoena ordering him to appear before the jury at 9:30 a.m. He arrived a half hour early.

As he walked into the courthouse a reporter asked, "So, how do you think today is going to go?"

He replied, "Hopefully short."

Raffensperger wouldn't leave the courthouse until approximately six hours later. His testimony, as is the case with any grand jury, took place behind closed doors.

At the center of the case is the now famous phone call from Trump to Raffensperger after he lost the election in Georgia to now President Joe Biden.

It was the call where Trump is heard on a recording asking Raffensperger to "find" the exact number of votes that would have tipped the election in Georgia in Trump's favor. 

An additional subpoena sent to Raffensperger shows Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is interested in more than just that phone call. The second order demanded he turn over various records and recordings by mid-day Thursday. 

The order showed he needed to provide the special grand jury with call logs and copies of writing showing any communication between his office and Trump and his representatives.

He also needed to hand over audits of the 2020 Georgia election results and information related to a hand count of the ballots from that election. 

The subpoena shows he was asked to supply all other writings from his office explaining “the conduct of the Georgia Secretary of State and its representatives, touching on matters that involve the voting for the U.S. President” in the 2020 election.

RELATED: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger opens up about Trump phone call

Raffensperger left the courthouse by mid-afternoon, avoiding a gathering of news reporters on the courthouse steps waiting to ask him questions about his testimony. 

After his testimony, 11Alive confirmed the special grand jury was sent home until next Tuesday. 11Alive hasn't confirmed if Raffensperger is done testifying or if he could be called back for additional questions. 

Investigators though still have plenty of questions for his office.

Through an open records request, 11Alive received subpoenas showing five current and former members of Raffensperger's staff are expected to go before the jury next week to testify. 

The list includes Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling, General Counsel Ryan Germany, former Head of Elections Division Chris Harvey, former Chief Investigator Frances Watson, and former executive assistant Victoria Thompson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

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