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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
22 Jul 2023


NextImg:Special Counsel Jack Smith Contacts Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Amid Trump Probe

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has been contacted by special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election and the events surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Andrew Isenhour, interim director of communications for Mr. Kemp’s office, confirmed the news in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times.

“I can confirm our office has been contacted by Jack Smith’s office,” Mr. Isenhour stated, declining to provide further comment.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 10, 2020. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Mr. Smith’s contact with Mr. Kemp’s office—and the special counsel’s investigation of the former president’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election more broadly—suggests overlap with Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s probe.

Ms. Willis’s investigation centers on a phone call Mr. Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger following the 2020 election, in which the former president asked him to “find” enough votes to declare him the winner in Georgia.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” then-President Trump said to Mr. Raffensperger.

A grand jury has been empaneled in Ms. Willis’s investigation, and Mr. Trump’s legal efforts to shut down the probe have been unsuccessful.

Mr. Trump faces a number of criminal investigations as he continues to campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump prepares to deliver remarks in Las Vegas on July 8, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In June, Mr. Smith indicted the former president on dozens of charges stemming from Mr. Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents from his presidency.

More recently, Mr. Smith served Mr. Trump a target letter, informing the former president that he’s also the target of a probe into his actions related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Target letters typically suggest a grand jury is finalizing an investigation and indictments are imminent.

Mr. Trump said in a statement on Truth Social that he received the news via letter on July 16 and was given four days to report to the grand jury.

The former president has maintained his innocence in the face of various accusations and has called the probes against him part of a politically-motivated effort to wrongfoot his bid for the White House.

Mr. Smith has said that the prosecutors on his team adhere to “the highest ethical standards” while carrying out their investigations.

Special counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment against former President Donald Trump at the Justice Department in Washington on June 9, 2023. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mr. Trump took to his social media platform on Saturday to denounce the various investigations against him.

“I’m illegally being targeted by them,” Mr. Trump said in a post on Truth Social. “If I wasn’t leading by so much or if I wasn’t running, if I was just sort of taking it easy, none of this would happen.”

An average of the latest polls show Mr. Trump far ahead of his nearest rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. As of July 21, Mr. Trump was leading Mr. DeSantis by 50.8 percent to 19.5 percent.

In matchups between Mr. Trump and President Joe Biden, an average of polls currently give a slight 0.5-point edge to the incumbent.

In a series of video messages posted on his social media platform, Mr. Trump labeled the various investigations against him as an effort to undermine his candidacy.

“These are crooked, corrupt people. It’s called election interference and we can’t let this take down our country because our country is going to hell and we have to turn it around,” Mr. Trump said.

In a follow-on message, Mr. Trump said: “As the leading political opponent of Crooked Joe Biden, getting indicted and arrested by sick government thugs would be my great honor,” the former president said.

“It’s an honor because I’m doing it for you, I’m doing it for our country, to show how evil and sinister a place it has become. Make America great again! We’re not going to let them get away with it,” he added.

Former President Donald J. Trump speaks during the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at Hilton in Washington on June 24, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

In another message capping the series of video statements Mr. Trump made on social media, the former president called the various investigations against him “the single greatest witch hunt of all time.”

In the classified documents case brought by Mr. Smith against the former president, a trial date has been set to begin on May 20, 2024.

Initially, the trial was set for August of this year, but the special counsel requested that it be pushed back to December.

Mr. Trump’s legal team, on the other hand, sought a postponement until after the 2024 election.

While the date is a compromise between the two parties, a May 2024 date means that the trial will almost certainly conflict with key dates on the presidential campaign calendar.

In that case, Mr. Trump is facing 37 felony counts, including conspiring to obstruct justice and illegally retaining national defense information.

Mr. Trump is also facing criminal charges in New York, with a date for that trial not yet set.