The Georgia grand jury investigating Trump meddling in the election is being hired and has begun preparing the final report



CNN

A special grand jury investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election is shutting down, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Atlanta-area special grand jury has largely completed hearing witnesses and has already begun writing its final report, the sources said, an indication that prosecutors will soon decide whether and against whom to file charges.

In Georgia, special grand juries do not have the power to hear indictments. The final report will serve as a mechanism for the panel to recommend whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should pursue charges in her investigation into election interference. Willis could then go to a regularly assembled grand jury to make indictments.

“It is a significant step, it is the culmination of the work of the prosecutors and the special grand jury. But it should not be taken as a guarantee of subsequent conviction,” said Michael J. Moore, former US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “That’s just the beginning.”

Prosecutors had hoped to file charges as early as December, sources previously told CNN. But the court is fighting for testimony from high-profile witnesses like South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, all of whom have been asked to testify before the special jury, have likely delayed the indictment until 2023, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Willis has already informed Rudy Giuliani and 16 Republicans who have served as pro-Trump electors in the state that they are targets of her investigation. She has also scrutinized Trump and other top lieutenants, including Meadows.

The next phase of the Georgia investigation comes at a politically and legally perilous time for Trump. His upcoming 2024 presidential campaign has gotten off to a stuttering start, and he is being indicted by the Justice Department for both his handling of classified government documents after leaving the White House and his activities surrounding the US Capitol attack and January 6 effort 2021 scrutinized turning the 2020 election results on their head. Federal investigators are also probing several Trump associates involved in the unsuccessful effort to overturn the presidential election.

However, some outside legal experts have warned that any case against Trump would be far from a bull’s eye.

When there’s a public case, “the games begin. It’s fought in court and in the court of public opinion,” Moore said.

If prosecutors hope to lead a successful case against Trump or his allies, they must demonstrate that their activities went well beyond the usual effort to win an election and veered into criminal territory.

“I just think when you take on a political figure like that, it’s a tough case,” Moore said. “Every candidate wants to win, every candidate will do anything to win and they are evaluating every option.”

Willis has already spent more than a year grappling with Trump and his associates, beginning her investigation in early 2021, shortly after a January call was made public in which Trump pressured Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger to support the Trump to “find” the votes he needs. win the Peach State in the presidential election.

Trump lost to Joe Biden in Georgia in 2020 by nearly 12,000 votes. The former president has insisted there was nothing problematic about his activities in contesting Georgia’s 2020 election, describing his conversation with Raffensperger as a “perfect” phone call.

Willis’ investigation has long gone beyond the call to include false voter fraud allegations against state legislatures; the wrong dialing scheme; Attempts by unauthorized persons to gain access to voting machines in a Georgia county; and threats and harassment of poll workers.

The special jury — composed of 23 jurors and three alternates — convened in May 2022 with the power to subpoena witnesses and documents and otherwise investigate efforts to undermine the results of Georgia’s presidential election. The panel is authorized to continue its work until May 2023, but Willis has signaled for months that she hopes to complete the grand jury’s investigative work well before that.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment. A Trump spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *