Georgia prosecutors will scrutinize Trump allies like Graham and Giuliani.
Fani T. Willis, the chief prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia, targets former President Donald J. Trump and a number of his allies in her recently announced investigation into the electoral influence.
Ms. Willis and her office have indicated that the investigation she revealed this week will include Senator Lindsey Graham’s November phone call to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s foreign secretary, through postal ballot paper. the abrupt removal last month of Byung J. Pak, the US attorney for the Northern Georgia District, who averaged Mr. Trump’s hostility for failing to make his debunked allegations of election fraud; and the false claims that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney, made before state legislative committees.
“An investigation is like an onion,” Ms. Willis told the New York Times in an interview. “You never know. You pull something back and then you find something else.”
She added, “Anything relevant to attempts to disrupt the Georgia elections will be reviewed.”
Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Mr. Graham, said he had no contact with Ms. Willis’ office. Mr Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment.
Jason Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Trump, has called the Georgia investigation “the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points.”
Mr Trump’s work is central to the Georgia investigation, particularly his call to Mr Raffensperger last month asking him to find votes to eradicate the former president’s loss in the state.
Ms. Willis, whose jurisdiction encompasses much of Atlanta, has set out a number of possible criminal charges in recent letters to state officials and authorities asking them to keep documents and a partial map of the potential exposure to Mr. Trump and his allies.
Mr Trump’s calls to state officials urging them to undermine the election could, for example, violate a Georgian law dealing with criminal inducement to commit election fraud, one of the charges set out in the letters. If prosecuted as a criminal offense, this charge is punished with at least one year in prison.
Ms. Willis, 49, is a seasoned prosecutor who produced a centrist report. She said in the interview that her decision to proceed with the investigation “is really not a choice – for me it is an obligation.”
“Every prosecutor in the country has a specific jurisdiction for which they are responsible,” she added. “If an alleged crime occurs in their jurisdiction, I believe they have an obligation to investigate.”