Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office is fully cooperating with Fulton County’s investigation into a phone conversation held with then-President Donald Trump.
Raffensperger said his office would be “supporting [Fulton County’s] efforts” as it investigates a Jan. 2 phone call in which Trump directed him to find the votes needed to overturn the state in his favor.
“Well, it’s an ongoing investigation, and that’s a Fulton County investigation, and we’re fully cooperating with the district attorney,” he told CNN’s Jim Acosta Saturday evening.
The secretary of state rejected claims from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, which has reportedly been frustrated with Raffensperger’s level of cooperation in the investigation, according to multiple outlets.
“[The claims of lack of cooperation are] false,” he said. “We’ve retained counsel for the secretary of state’s office in lieu of the attorney general’s office, and they can coordinate and ask whatever questions they want and what they need, but we’ll fully cooperate, obviously.”
When questioned by Acosta about whether his support for Georgia’s controversial voting law amounted to “rewarding bad behavior” after Trump told “a big lie about the election,” Raffensperger explained his support for the new legislation.
“The reforms that are in this bill are to really address and make elections more efficient,” he said, adding that the reform “has nothing to do with what happened back in November or in the January period up in D.C.”
Georgia’s controversial voter reforms, signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, impose voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, authorize state officials the authority to make changes to county elections boards and the use of ballot drop boxes, and make it a crime for politically affiliated persons to approach voters in line within 150 feet of a polling place to offer food and water.
While panned by Democrats and many corporations as tantamount to voter suppression, the legislation has been applauded by Republicans, including Raffensperger, who say the reforms will shore up election integrity.
Despite his support for the law, Raffensperger has bucked the party line in recent months. After the Jan. 2 phone call with Trump was leaked to the press, the secretary of state rebuked the president, saying he was “just plain wrong” in his accusations of voter fraud.
“We’ve never found systemic fraud — not enough to overturn the election. We have over 250 cases right now … but right now, we don’t see anything that would overturn, you know, the will of the people here in Georgia,” he said in December.
Raffensperger’s repudiation of Trump led to him being ostracized by many in the GOP. He was denied election as a Republican delegate in his precinct and failed to secure a nomination.
Trump has since endorsed a Republican challenger who has echoed his claims of fraud.
President Joe Biden won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election by a narrow margin after multiple recounts. He was the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the Peach State since former President Bill Clinton in 1992.
Original Author: Carly Roman