Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp contacted by special counsel in election probe

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was contacted by special counsel Jack Smith’s office as it investigates efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results, a spokesperson for the governor confirmed on Friday.

“I can confirm our office has been contacted by Jack Smith’s office,” Andrew Isenhour said in a statement, declining to provide further comment.

The Washington Post first reported on the Republican governor’s contact with Smith’s office, which has been examining false electors from battleground states who in most cases signed certification documents purporting that Trump had won in their states even though he had lost.

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.

Trump said Tuesday that he had received a letter from Smith informing him he is a target of an investigation by a federal grand jury tasked with examining the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Weeks after the 2020 election, Kemp’s office confirmed that Trump called the governor and tried to pressure him to order a special session of the state Legislature to overturn Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia.

Last month, the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office confirmed that special counsel investigators would interview Raffensperger, who was pressured by Trump in a phone call days before the Capitol riot to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in the state.

Raffensperger’s office said this week that it had complied with a subpoena issued by the special counsel’s office for security footage from a 2020 polling site that Trump had targeted in his election fraud claims.

Kemp’s contact with the special counsel is not the first time he has been sought out for information about Trump and his allies’ efforts in Georgia.

In November, the governor testified before a special grand jury investigating whether Trump and his allies engaged in election interference in Georgia. That probe, which launched in 2021, is being overseen by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has indicated that any indictments would likely be handed down in August.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the Smith and Willis investigations a “witch hunt.”

Kemp has largely refrained from criticizing Trump by name, but has questioned the former president’s electability. In a recent CNN interview he suggested that if Trump remains focused on false claims that the 2020 race was stolen, “he’s gonna lose Georgia.”

Blayne Alexander contributed.

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