A Georgia prosecutor is looking into a phone call between Trump loyalist Sen. Lindsey Graham and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of a criminal probe seeking to determine if former President Donald Trump or his backers violated Georgia law in trying to overturn his election loss in the state, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Citing a person familiar with the probe, the paper reported that the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will assess the call that Graham made to Raffensperger after the election.
The call will “be looked at,” the individual familiar with the investigation told the Post, warning that many details of the call and whether Graham broke the law remains unclear.
Raffensperger told the Post on November 16 that, in a conversation days beforehand, Graham had cast doubt on Georgia’s signature-matching law, and had also floated the possibility that biased poll workers could have counted ballots with inconsistent signatures.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican who was then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also inquired if Raffensperger could discard all mail-in ballots from counties that had shown higher rates of unmatched signatures, the Republican secretary of state told the Post at the time. Graham has denied the assertions from Raffensperger, who has stood firm on his account.
There have been no credible allegations of any issues with voting that would have impacted the election, as affirmed by dozens of judges, governors, and election officials, the Electoral College, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Supreme Court.
In a statement to CNN, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop called accusations that Graham’s call was inappropriate “ridiculous.”
“Senator Graham was asking about how the signature verification process worked,” Bishop said. “He never asked the Secretary of State to disqualify a ballot cast by anyone. The timing on this is also quite curious. It seems to be a less than transparent effort to marginalize anyone who helps President Trump.”
News of Willis’ decision to look into the call between Graham and Raffensperger comes as the South Carolina Republican serves as a juror in Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate.
Additionally, CNN reported Monday that Raffensperger’s office has started an investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the state’s election results, including a phone call on which Trump pushed Raffensperger to “find” votes after his loss to then-President-elect Joe Biden, according to an audio recording first released by The Washington Post and later obtained by CNN.
A source familiar with the Georgia Secretary of State’s investigation told CNN on Friday that they are not investigating the Graham call.
A spokesman for Willis told the Post on Friday that the office was looking into all efforts to inappropriately sway the election’s administration. Willis announced Wednesday that her office would probe potentially criminal attempts to affect the state’s election results, including Trump’s calls to Raffensperger and to the state’s chief elections investigator, the paper reported.
CNN’s Jason Morris, Sarah Fortinsky, Chandelis Duster and Devan Cole contributed to this report.