The investigation by the secretary of state’s office stems from a complaint by George Washington University Law School professor John Banzhaf III, according to the investigative case sheet.

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In an emailed press release sent on Jan 4, Prof Banzhaf said he had filed a complaint with the secretary of state’s office requesting “that this matter be fully investigated, and action be taken to the extent appropriate”.

The complaint suggests Mr Trump may have committed one or more violations of Georgia law, including conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with the performance of election duties, the release says.

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Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Mr Trump, said in a statement that there was “nothing improper or untoward about a scheduled call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and lawyers on both sides”.

Investigators will present their findings to the state election board, which will then decide how to proceed. If the board believes there is evidence that a crime occurred, it could take action ranging from issuing a letter of reprimand to referring the case to Georgia’s attorney-general.

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