Fani T. Willis, the senior prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia, is targeting former President Donald J. Trump and a number of his allies in her recently announced probe into election interference.
Ms Willis and her office said the investigation, which she revealed this week, will include Senator Lindsey Graham’s November phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about mail-in ballots ; the brutal impeachment last month of Byung J. Pak, the US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, who won Mr. Trump’s enmity for failing to make his denied claims about voter fraud; and the false statements that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal advocate, 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 take something out, then you find something else.
She added, “Anything relevant to any attempt to interfere with the elections in Georgia will be brought under consideration.”
Kevin Bishop, a spokesperson for Mr Graham, said he had not had any contact with Ms Willis’ office. Mr. Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment.
Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Mr. Trump, called the Georgia investigation “the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points.”
Mr Trump’s activity is at the heart of the Georgia probe, particularly his appeal last month to Mr Raffensperger, in which Mr Trump asked him to “find” votes to erase the loss of the former president in the state.
Ms Willis, whose jurisdiction encompasses much of Atlanta, has outlined a range of possible criminal charges in recent letters to state officials and agencies asking them to keep the documents, providing a partial map of the potential exposure of Mr. Trump and his allies.
Mr Trump’s calls to state officials urging them to subvert the election, for example, could run counter to a Georgian law dealing with criminal solicitation to commit electoral fraud, one of the charges described in letters. If this charge is prosecuted as a felony, it is punishable by at least one year in prison.
Ms Willis, 49, is a seasoned prosecutor who has carved a centrist record. She said in the interview that her decision to continue the investigation “is really not a choice – for me it is an obligation”.
“Every DA in the country has a certain jurisdiction for which it is responsible,” she added. “If an alleged crime occurs in their jurisdiction, I think they have a duty to investigate.”