Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it was unlikely his office would open an investigation into his phone call with President Trump last weekend, but suggested a criminal probe could still be launched by an Atlanta-area district attorney.
Speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Raffensperger said that “there may be a conflict of interest” that would inhibit any potential investigation given that the President personally spoke with him and recently had a conversation with the chief investigator in his office.
The Secretary also said: “I understand that the Fulton County District Attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go.”
Raffensperger also did not explicitly confirm reporting by The New York Times that it was staffers within his office who recorded audio of the call, and that he had instructed advisers not to release its contents unless Trump attacked state officials or misrepresented the call’s contents.
The Washington Post and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first obtained audio of the call on Sunday. On Monday, Raffensperger declined to say whether he personally found Trump’s requests in their conversation to be lawful.
“I’m not a lawyer. All I know is that we’re going to follow the law, follow the process,” he said. “Truth matters. And we’ve been fighting these rumors for the last two months.”
Raffensperger maintained that he had never spoken to Trump prior to their conversation on Saturday.
“No, I never believed it was appropriate to speak to the president. But he pushed out — I guess he had his staff push us. They wanted to call,” Raffensperger said.
Raffensperger described his office as “in a litigation mode with the president’s team against the state of Georgia. And whenever you say anything, then you do have to have your advisers there. They have to have their advisers there, with lawyers.”
Although “I just preferred not to talk to someone when we’re in litigation,” Raffensperger continued, “we took the call, and we had a conversation.”
The president “did most of the talking. We did most of the listening,” he said. “But I did want to make my points, that the data that he has is just plain wrong. He had hundreds and hundreds of people he said that were dead that voted. We found two. That’s an example of just — he has bad data.”
Read more at Politico.