By opening the inquiry, the secretary of state’s law enforcement investigators will be looking into allegations involving Raffensperger, who is their boss.
Election investigations can take months or years before they’re referred to the State Election Board, where Raffensperger is the chairman. The board can dismiss cases, levy fines or refer cases to the attorney general’s office for potential criminal investigation.
Trump’s call to Raffensperger came days before rioters swarmed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was considering Electoral College votes for Biden, who received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
After the call, some attorneys said Trump may have violated Georgia laws.
Trump held out the possibility of criminal prosecution if Raffensperger didn’t agree with him and implored him to say he had “recalculated” vote totals. Georgia laws prohibit conspiracy to commit election fraud, solicitation to commit fraud and interfering with the duties of an election official.
Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate begins Tuesday, which will focus on charges that he incited the assault on the Capitol and his actions leading up to the insurrection, including his call to Raffensperger.