ATLANTA - "No, I would say I probably had the most unusual first day of work of anyone ever," said newly elected Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Willis' first day of work was something she could never have imagined. The very day she took over the DA's office, a phone call from then-President Donald Trump to Secretary of State Brad Raffesnperger became public.
In the call, President Trump could be heard urging Raffensperger to find enough votes to swing the election in his favor.
"All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have," Trump said in the tape-recorded call.
Willis said she felt in the phone call a crime may have been committed. And her job was to investigate crimes.
"Although it is not what we were expecting it is not what I could have ever anticipated would be going on in my first six weeks in office, we're here," said Willis.
Here - is a grand jury investigation of election interference allegations aimed at former President Donald Trump. It centers on that phone call when Trump pushed Raffesnperger to "find" votes and change the count to reverse his election loss.
"The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there is nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated," Trump said back in January.
Gov. Brian Kemp holds a press conference at the Gold Dome in Atlanta on May 7, 2020. (FOX 5)
A month later Willis sent letters, obtained by the I-Team, to Governor Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. The letters asked the state’s highest elected officials to preserve any key evidence and detailed a road map of where her investigation may go. It mentions a range of possible charges from "the solicitation of election fraud" to "conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election's administration."
"We need to have elections. Elections have to be run in a way that the community has confidence in them," Willis told the I-Team.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
Now, Fulton County has convened two grand juries, including one to help tackle a staggering backlog of cases. One of those grand juries will ultimately hear evidence in an investigation involving the former president of the United States.
Reporter: "You plan on issuing grand jury subpoenas?"
Willis: "Well, that's the way a proper investigation is done, so yes, we will issue grand jury subpoenas."
Reporter: "Is it unusual in your mind for a local DA to be opening a potential criminal investigation of a former president?"
Morgan: "I've never heard of it, Dale."
President Donald Trump holds a rally in Dalton a day before voters head to the polls in Georgia's twin Senate runoff races on Jan. 4, 2021. (FOX 5)
Former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan, and other attorneys we spoke to tell us the investigation is highly unusual and any criminal charge against a former President would be difficult to obtain. The spotlight will be red hot; the pressure will be intense.
Reporter: "Are you nervous?"
Willis: "No. Not at all."
Reporter: "He's the president. Former president."
Willis: "Not at all."
Reporter: "You look at it just as another case?"
Willis: "I do look at it as just another case."
Until her election as district attorney, Willis was a top Fulton County prosecutor building a sterling reputation and often tasked with taking on high-profile cases – and winning.
Willis told us when witness interviews are conducted and documents and records scrutinized, she will do what she has always done - follow the facts and the law.
"A case is like an onion. When you peel things back you learn different things. We will treat this case like any other case. Some investigations you do, no charges are brought because that is the right answer. Some investigations you do, it is only appropriate to bring charges. That's the way we will treat this case," said Willis.
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