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Timeline: Criminal probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia election results

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(ATLANTA) — On Jan. 2, 2021, former President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to win the state in the 2020 election.

The now-infamous phone call helped spark a criminal investigation launched the following month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looking into the efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Here’s a look at how the probe — one of several investigations involving the former president — has unfolded so far:

Nov. 3, 2020

Voters head to the polls in the 2020 general election.

Nov. 7, 2020

Multiple media organizations, including ABC News, call the election for Joe Biden based on the projected electoral vote count, as several states, including Georgia, have yet to be projected.

Nov. 10, 2020

The Trump campaign requests a hand recount in Georgia, where Biden leads by about 14,000 votes out of nearly 5 million cast in the presidential race.

Nov. 11, 2020

Raffensperger, a Republican, announces that due to how slim the vote margin is between Biden and Trump, the state’s planned audit will trigger a “full by-hand recount in each county” of the presidential race.

Nov. 19, 2020

The results of Georgia’s statewide audit, which entailed that counties recount by hand every vote cast in the presidential race, reaffirm Biden as the winner — by a margin of 12,284 votes. It’s the first time since 1992 that a Democrat will win the state.

Nov. 20, 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffensperger certify the results of the general election, making it official that Biden won the state’s 16 electoral votes.

Nov. 24, 2020

Georgia’s 159 counties start counting the votes cast in the presidential race for a third time, after the Trump campaign requests a machine recount.

Dec. 6, 2020

Raffensperger defends the integrity of the general election, telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview on “This Week” that his office has yet to find evidence supporting “systemic fraud” that would change the outcome.

Dec. 7, 2020

Raffensperger and Kemp recertify the state’s election results after a recount requested by Trump confirms once again that Biden won the state. The audit found that Biden won by a margin of 11,779 votes.

Dec. 22, 2020

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff at the time, visits Georgia’s Cobb County to observe a signature match audit.

Dec. 23, 2020

Amid the signature match audit in Cobb County, Trump phones a chief investigator in Raffensperger’s office to discuss the audit, telling the investigator they would be praised for finding errors in the vote count, according to an individual familiar with the call.

Jan. 2, 2021

In an hourlong phone call obtained by ABC News, Trump calls Raffensperger and falsely claims that it was “not possible” for him to have lost and asks the secretary to “find 11,780 votes” — the exact number Trump needed to win Georgia.

“The people of Georgia are angry. The people of the country are angry, and there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump says on the call. “All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. … Fellas, I need 11,000 votes, give me a break.”

Meadows was also heard speaking on the call.

Raffensperger challenged the president’s allegations, saying the data Trump is citing about tens of thousands of illegal votes “is wrong.”

Feb. 10, 2021

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis notifies Kemp that her office has launched an investigation into efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

The letter asked state officials to preserve any documents potentially related to the 2020 general election, “with particular care given to set aside and preserve those that may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering” it, which would include Trump’s phone call with Raffensperger.

Jan. 20, 2022

Willis requests to seat a special grand jury in her probe, according to a letter obtained by ABC News. In the letter to Fulton County Chief Judge Christopher Brasher, Willis wrote that the move is needed because “a significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.”

May 2, 2022

Twenty-six jurors are selected for a special grand jury in Willis’ investigation.

The special grand jury does not have the ability to return an indictment and can only make recommendations concerning criminal prosecution. Should charges be recommended, it would then be up to Willis to determine whether or not to pursue them.

July 19, 2022

New court documents reveal that 16 people identified as “fake electors” have been notified that they are targets of the Fulton County district attorney’s criminal investigation, new court documents reveal.

Aug. 15, 2022

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is informed he is considered a “target” of the Fulton County district attorney’s probe, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Nov. 1, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court rejects Sen. Lindsey Graham bid to block a subpoena for testimony before the special grand jury. Graham, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, called Georgia election officials to discuss the election.

Nov. 8, 2022

Voters head to the polls in Georgia for a primary election where Raffensperger is up for reelection for his secretary of state seat. Trump supports Rep. Jody Hice in the primary.

Nov. 18, 2022

A hand count of random batches of votes confirms Raffensperger has won reelection, state election officials announce.

Jan. 9, 2023

A new filing indicates that the special grand jury has finished its work and submitted its final report following months of closed-door testimony.

The jurors heard testimony from some of Trump’s closest allies and supporters, including lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and Sen. Graham.

Jan. 24, 2023

Willis says during a hearing that charging decisions in the case are “imminent.”

Feb. 13, 2023

Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney rules that portions of the special grand jury’s report can be released in the coming days, though the majority of the report will remain sealed. Willis had argued for the report to remain sealed, saying that it was important to “be mindful of protecting future defendants’ rights.”

Feb. 16, 2023

Excerpts from the special grand jury’s report are released, revealing that the jury has recommended to prosecutors that they seek indictments against witnesses who they believe may have lied during their testimony.

“A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” the grand jury wrote in the report. “The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”

The excerpts from the report do not list any names of those who grand jury members believe may have committed perjury nor offer any rationale for its allegations of perjury.

There are also no details revealed regarding whether or not the grand jury recommended changes for anyone related to efforts to overturn the election. The excerpts do not identify any of the 75 witnesses interviewed and do not mention Trump by name.

Following their release, a spokesperson for Trump said the excerpts “have nothing to do with the President because President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong.”

“The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do — in fact, as President, it was President Trump’s Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity,” the spokesperson said.

Feb. 21, 2023

In a series of print and television interviews, Emily Kohrs, the foreperson of the special grand jury, reveals that jurors recommended charges for several individuals, without naming any of them — and intimated that the former president is among them.

“You’re not going to be shocked,” Kohrs told The New York Times about whether her panel recommended charges against Trump. “It’s not rocket science.”

March 20, 2023

Trump’s attorneys file a motion seeking to throw out the special grand jury report and remove the district attorney’s office leading the investigation.

March 27, 2023

McBurney gives Willis’ office until May 1 to respond to Trump’s motion to quash the special grand jury report.

April 24, 2023

Willis indicates her office will announce any charging decisions sometime between July 11 and Sept. 1, 2023, in a letter to law enforcement.

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