The criminal investigation into efforts by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies to overturn his election loss in Georgia has begun to entangle, in one way or another, an expanding assemblage of characters: A United States senator.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has put on display how Mr. Trump and his allies sought to subvert the election results in several crucial states, including by creating slates of fake pro-Trump electors.
And there was the signal event that drew attention to Mr. Trump’s conduct in Georgia: his call to the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, whose office, in Ms. Willis’s Fulton County, recorded the president imploring him to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to reverse his defeat.
When Ms. Willis opened the inquiry in February 2021, a Trump spokesman described it as “simply the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump.”
Lawyers for 11 of the 16 Trump electors, Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow and Holly A. Pierson, accused Ms. Willis of “misusing the grand jury process to harass, embarrass and attempt to intimidate the nominee electors, not to investigate their conduct.”
She has already informed the head of the Georgia Republican Party that he is a target of the investigation, along with the party’s treasurer and 14 other Georgians who were on the slate of bogus Trump electors, including the car dealer and the economics teacher.
Ms. Willis is also seeking to compel testimony from John Eastman, an architect of the legal strategy to keep Mr. Trump in power, as well as other lawyers — Kenneth Chesebro, Jacki Pick Deason, Jenna Ellis and Cleta Mitchell — who played critical roles in the effort.
Ms. Willis’s office has homed in on several investigative strands: Calls made by Mr. Trump and his allies to apply direct pressure to state officials.
Mr. Giuliani’s conduct in Georgia was already laid bare by a New York State appellate court last year when it suspended his law license.
Ms. Kutti, who had previously been a celebrity stylist and Illinois cannabis lobbyist, traveled to the Atlanta area a few weeks after the vote and visited Ruby Freeman, an obscure election worker whose account of how Mr. Trump had falsely accused her of counting bogus ballots was featured at one of the House committee’s public hearings.
The case accelerated dramatically this month, first with news that Ms. Willis sought to compel seven of Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers to testify in the case, including Mr. Eastman, Ms. Ellis, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Graham.
Then court filings revealed that all 16 of the fake electors had been told they were targets of the investigation and could face charges — a step many observers saw as an opening gambit that could lead to similar action against more prominent Trump allies.
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