Fulton County DA asks special grand jury to investigate Trump election interference

The request for a special grand jury seat — nearly a year after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation — indicates she is seriously pursuing possible criminal charges against Trump or his allies for their efforts to interfere in the Georgian elections in 2020. .

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis wrote that her office had “received information indicating a reasonable likelihood that the administration of the 2020 Georgia State elections, including the election of the States President United by the State, has been subject to possible criminal interference”. according to a letter sent to Christopher Brasher, Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Fulton County, and provided by the court.

Willis requested that the grand jury begin in May and remain in place for up to 12 months.

“I said nothing ill in the call, made while I was president on behalf of the United States of America, to investigate the massive voter fraud that took place in Georgia,” Trump said in a statement. a statement, repeating his lies about the 2020 election and adding that a special grand jury should not look into his “perfect phone call.”

the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the letter requesting the special grand jury.

“We have made efforts to interview multiple witnesses and gather evidence, and a significant number of witnesses and potential witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation in the absence of a subpoena requiring their testimony,” wrote Willis in his letter to the court.

“As an example, Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a key witness to the investigation, indicated that he would not participate in an interview or offer evidence until he received a subpoena from my office,” she wrote.

Willis launched his investigation with letters to Raffensperger and other Georgia state officials asking them to retain documents related to Trump’s interference in Georgia’s election shortly after a recording was revealed of Trump asking Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to flip the state – which Joe Biden won – in favor of Trump.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has already provided Willis’ team with evidence, including documents, recordings of calls Trump made to Raffensperger and another official in his office, and interviews with some members of the staff.

Raffensperger and other state officials have not been accused of wrongdoing and should not be targets of his investigation.

However, Willis has made it clear that she is looking into the activities of a number of other Trump loyalists. She planned to examine the actions of former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and others who may have aided Trump in his efforts.

Georgia State law professor Clark D. Cunningham said the appointment of a special grand jury is “extremely important” because it will provide Willis with unique investigative powers that “no other entity in the country currently has on this issue”.

Cunningham said she could issue subpoenas to a wide variety of witnesses beyond Georgia officers or state employees.

“She could subpoena Mark Meadows, for example. She could subpoena Rudy Giuliani. She could subpoena Donald Trump. I would expect them to probably subpoena former US Attorney BJay Pak,” Cunningham told CNN. “The fact that this is a criminal investigation may give it a much higher priority than, say, the work of the January 6 congressional committee.”

Willis, who took office in January 2021, juggled his Trump investigation with a mountain of pending cases and mounting violence in the Atlanta area. His investigation now threatens to clash with the 2022 midterm elections.

Wednesday was a *really* bad day for Donald Trump

In a recent Associated Press interview, Willis said she expects to make a decision in the first half of 2022 on whether to press charges against Trump or others in his orbit.

She will need the approval of a majority of county superior court judges in order to sit a special grand jury. While the panel would prove useful for gathering evidence, the state’s special grand juries are unable to issue indictments.

In his letter, Willis noted that a special grand jury can sit longer than normal grand juries and can focus solely on the Trump case.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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