Report: Georgia Secretary Of State Staffers Are Interviewed By Jan. 6 Committee

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 06: Georgia Secretary of State Ben Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2020 presidential race between incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still too close to call with outstanding ballots in a number of states including Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 06: Georgia Secretary of State Ben Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2020 presidential race between incumbent ... ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 06: Georgia Secretary of State Ben Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2020 presidential race between incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still too close to call with outstanding ballots in a number of states including Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The Jan. 6 committee reportedly interviewed current and former staffers of Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger’s office on Wednesday about former President Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to subvert the battleground state’s election results, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.

At least two officials who worked in Raffensperger’s office during Trump’s attempt to change the state’s 2020 results spoke for hours with members of the Jan. 6 committee on Wednesday, GPB reported.

Raffensperger himself was interviewed by the committee for hours late last month.

According to GPB, the panel has now also interviewed Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager who spoke out forcefully about the impact of Trump’s election fraud falsehoods. Among the topics covered in Sterling’s interview were the conspiracy theories surrounding Fulton County’s tabulation center as well as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s unfounded claims to state lawmakers in several hearings regarding election results in the state’s most populous county.

The committee also spoke with Frances Watson, who at the time of Trump’s effort was a top investigator for Raffensperger’s office and who spoke with Trump herself for six minutes in late December. The Wall Street Journal later obtained a recording of the call, in which the former president could be heard pressuring Watson to investigate bogus claims of fraud. “When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised,” he said.

During his own interview with the committee, Raffensperger reportedly discussed his infamous call with Trump on Jan. 2, in which the former president asked him to “find 11,780 votes” shortly before the Senate runoff that handed Democrats control of the upper chamber.

“We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation,” Raffensperger told the Atlanta Journal Constitution late last month, adding that the committee had copies of his recently published book on hand to reference.

The interviews come amid other signs that the White House’s attempts to pressure Georgia officials are a key area of focus for the committee. Former White House chief of staff Meadows “was on the phone when President Trump asked the secretary of state to ‘find 11,780 votes’ to change the election results in Georgia,” committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney noted during a House Rules hearing on Tuesday ahead its vote to advance a resolution to hold Meadows in contempt to the full House.

Among the text messages sent to Meadows recently revealed by committee members was one from a Georgia state official sent during the Jan. 2 call.

“Need to end this call,” the official wrote. “I don’t think this will be productive for much longer.”

On Tuesday, the House voted to approve the committee’s recommendation to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress after the former Trump official went back to stonewalling the committee, citing executive privilege, following his short-lived engagement with the panel in which he turned over damning text messages.

TPM reached out to the Jan. 6 Committee and Raffensperger’s office for comment on the reported interviews.

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