(CNN) — Georgia prosecutors investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election have interviewed multiple people who served as bogus voters for the state’s Republican Party, according to two sources familiar with the ongoing criminal investigation.
Fulton County Attorney Fani Willis’s office appears to be trying to determine whether pro-Trump voters in Georgia had any knowledge that their actions may have been one component of a larger and potentially illegal plot to pressure election officials and nullify Joe Biden’s victory, a source told CNN.
Biden won Georgia by a margin of nearly 12,000 votes in 2020, becoming the first Democrat to win the state in 28 years. Conspiracy theories surrounding the state’s election immediately sprung up, and unsubstantiated claims of fraud have persisted even after three vote recounts confirmed that Biden was the winner.
Losing the Peach State was a painful defeat for Trump, who spent months trying to overturn the results, including pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to tip the state in his favor, a call which sparked the Atlanta area criminal investigation.
Pro-Trump constituents who have met with prosecutors in Georgia, including state GOP Chairman David Shafer, have been assured that they are currently considered witnesses, rather than subjects or targets, in the investigation, a notable distinction. suggesting that the Atlanta-area district attorney does not view his actions as criminal at this time, two of the sources told CNN.
The previously unreported interviews with pro-Trump voters in Georgia are the first indication that the Fulton County District Attorney has already begun investigating the matter, adding to a host of other Department investigations. of Justice, the select commission of the House of Representatives that investigates on January 6 and other states where alternative lists were presented.
A cause unrelated to the federal investigation against Trump
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco previously told CNN that the Justice Department is investigating the fake voters plot and a Washington grand jury recently issued subpoenas related to the fake voters and other matters.
But there is little public indication of an active federal investigation, and three sources told CNN that pro-Trump constituents who are cooperating with the state investigation in Georgia have yet to be contacted by anyone at the FBI, Justice Department or relevant US agencies. US prosecutors.
That, however, does not exclude the possibility that federal investigators are also looking into the circumstances surrounding the alternative voter lists being presented in Georgia, the sources acknowledged.
Willis told CNN last week that his team is investigating fake Electoral College certifications that Trump supporters filed in Georgia as part of the broader investigation into the former president’s conduct in Georgia after the 2020 election. But he offered few details about how the matter fits into the larger investigation.
“We’re going to be looking at anything that’s related to interference in the 2020 election,” Willis said in an interview last week with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I’ve allowed that to have a broad scope, not just the phone call from the (former) president that you reproduced there, but other things that indicate there may have been interference with that election, to include false electorates.”
“That’s in the interest of my office,” Willis added.
In that same interview with CNN, Willis said he had no concrete plans to coordinate his investigation with potential Justice Department investigations.
“What your investigation would be, obviously, is voter fraud that may have occurred anywhere in this great country,” Willis said. “Mine is much smaller, a big investigation, but much smaller. I’m just looking into election interference in the state of Georgia, and more specifically the things that they asked for around that call that happened in my county, Georgia.” Fulton”.
During interviews with Willis’ team, witnesses from Georgia have been forthcoming and have provided significant factual information about what occurred on December 14, 2020, when pro-Trump voters gathered and voted on alternative lists, according to a source. Familiar with meetings.
CNN previously reported that Trump campaign officials, led by Rudy Giuliani, oversaw efforts in December 2020 to field illegitimate voters from seven states Trump lost, including Georgia.
Giuliani and his allies coordinated the details of the process on a state-by-state basis, three sources told CNN. One of the sources said there were multiple planning calls between Trump campaign officials and state GOP operatives, and that Giuliani was involved in at least one call.
The source also said the Trump campaign lined up supporters to fill constituent vacancies, secured state house meeting rooms for false voters to meet on Dec. 14, and circulated drafts of the fake certificates that were eventually sent to the National Archives.
The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 has shown significant interest in the effort to present lists of pro-Trump voters as part of its separate investigation.
The panel has interviewed Shafer and another pro-Trump constituent from Georgia, ultimately determining that they complied with their subpoenas by testifying, according to a source familiar with the meeting. Shafer did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen contributed reporting