Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has contacted former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who Donald Trump pressured to overturn the 2020 election, a source familiar with the outreach confirmed first to CNN.
A spokesman for Ducey confirmed the outreach from Smith’s team, which has not been previously reported.
“Yes, he’s been contacted. He’s been responsive, and just as he’s done since the election, he will do the right thing,” Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato told CNN.
Trump narrowly lost Arizona to Joe Biden by less than 11,000 votes. Trump publicly attacked Ducey, a former ally, over the state’s certification of the results. As Ducey was certifying the election results in November 2020, Trump appeared to call the governor – with a “Hail to the Chief” ringtone heard playing on Ducey’s phone. Ducey did not take that call but later said he spoke with Trump, though he did not describe the specifics of the conversation.
Ducey, behind closed doors, said that the former president was pressuring him to find fraud in the presidential election in Arizona that would help him overturn the election, a source with knowledge told CNN earlier this month after The Washington Post first reported the news. There was no recording made of that call, a source familiar with the matter said.
Then-Vice President Mike Pence also spoke with Ducey in the wake of the 2020 election.
Trump had repeatedly pressured Pence to help him find evidence of fraud and overturn the 2020 election results, CNN previously reported. Pence spoke to Ducey multiple times, though he did not pressure the GOP governor as he had been asked, sources told CNN.
Pence, however, said he does not recall “any pressure” from Trump in asking him to call Ducey after the election, telling CBS he was “calling to get an update. I passed along that information to the president. And it was no more, no less than that.”
Ducey is just the latest Arizona Republican known to have spoken with federal investigators as part of the ongoing criminal probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who also rejected pressure on two calls with Trump following the election, spoke with the FBI a few months ago, he told CNN earlier this month.
Bowers, in an interview on CNN’s “The Source,” said he hadn’t known Ducey had also received pressure from the former president, though, he added, the former governor “wasn’t a pushover, but I am surprised. It’s pleasant to know that he also was getting it.”
In recent weeks, federal investigators have focused on Trump’s efforts, as well as those of his top lawyers as they organized fake electors to submit votes to Congress on his behalf and as they sought to sway Pence into blocking the election result.
The latest news comes as Trump announced Tuesday he had been informed by the special counsel that he is a target of the criminal investigation, a sign he may soon be charged by Smith.
Ducey, before his fallout with Trump, had been seen as a formidable candidate for Senate in 2022, but the term-limited governor ultimately ruled out a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who won last year over a Trump-endorsed GOP nominee.
Ducey announced last month he would be leading Citizens for Free Enterprise, which describes itself as a “new national effort to promote and protect free enterprise.”
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi, Kristen Holmes, Alayna Treene, Jeremy Herb, Katelyn Polantz, and Jack Forrest contributed to this report.