Georgia elections chief expects to be subpoenaed by Jan. 6 commission, vows not to comply

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says he won't be "participating in a partisan sideshow."

Updated: September 16, 2021 - 11:06pm

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger expects to be subpoenaed as early as Friday by the congressional commission investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and is vowing not to comply.

"I'm focused on secure and accessible elections — not re-litigating the past, whether January 6th, the 2018 election, or the 2020 election," Raffensperger said in a statement provided to Just the News on Thursday evening.

Raffensperger's team has been in contact with the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, a special U.S. House committee led by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), two vocal critics of former President Donald Trump.

Officials in Raffensperger's office said they told Congress he is not interested in testifying, even after congressional investigators vowed to issue a subpoena. The lawmakers are believed to be interested in post-election conversations in which President Trump pressed Georgia election officials and investigators to investigate possible voter fraud in the state. A local prosecutor in Atlanta is also investigating those calls.

Raffensperger said the transcripts of those conversation were long ago made public and have no relevance to the riots that occurred hundreds of miles away in Washington, weeks after the Trump calls.

"We aren't participating in a partisan sideshow solely for the purpose of providing soundbites about an event we have no connection to," Raffensperger said.

Spokespersons for Thompson and Cheney did not return calls seeking comment Thursday. The committee is made up mostly of Democrats after Republican leaders refused to join over concerns the commission probe was being constructed for partisan rather than fact-finding purposes. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's choices for the committee, for instance, were rejected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

A congressional aide familiar with the commission's work told Just the News on Thursday night lawmakers have an interest in testimony from Raffensperger and his Director of Investigations, Frances Watson. The aide declined to be more specific.

Significant evidence has emerged since the election — much of it in Just the News reporting — that significant irregularities occurred during vote counting last November in Fulton County, Georgia's most populous county and home to Atlanta, the state's capital and largest city. Those irregularities, observed by a monitor working for Raffensperger, included double scanning of ballots, insecure transport of ballots and possible violations of voter privacy, according to the monitor's report obtained by Just the News earlier this summer.

As a result, Raffensperger has pushed the State Elections Board to take the first steps in removing Fulton County officials from managing the 2022 elections, putting the county in state receivership.

A judge has also authorized prominent Georgia attorney Bob Cheeley to conduct a full forensic audit of Fulton County's absentee's ballots, which were the focus of significant concern.

Raffensperger has maintained that despite the widespread mismanagement in Fulton, he believes the Georgia election was free of foreign interference and widespread fraud.

In recent days, he has pivoted to another issue: seeking a change to the Georgia constitution to ensure non-citizens don't vote in Georgia elections. On Thursday, he signed a petition backing the constitutional amendment that was created by Americans for Citizen Voting, a national nonprofit advocating for citizen-only voting

"Only American citizens should be allowed to cast a ballot," he told reporters at a news conference. "We can't run the risk that special interests one day succeed in giving non-citizens a say in our laws, taxes and representatives the way they have in other states."

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