Atlanta (AP) — Special Grand Jury to Investigate President Donald Trump at the time And while his allies have tried to illegally reverse his defeat in the 2020 Georgia election and seem to have done the job, many questions remain.
This investigation is one of several that may lead to criminal charges. oppose the former president calling on voters to return him to the White House 2024.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willissays it began its investigation almost two years ago and will go where the facts lead. It would be an extraordinary step if she chose to indict Trump himself.
Clark Cunningham, a law professor at Georgia State University, said, “Even if he was acquitted by a jury, it would be a significant event in American history that he would be tried and had a public trial where the evidence was recorded. It’s magnificent.
This is what we know as a special grand jury It seems to be shrinking:
What’s the latest news?
For about half a year, the grand jury We reviewed the evidence and heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, including prominent Trump associates and state officials. , did not expect the special grand jury to last any longer.
A grand jury is expected to produce a final report containing recommendations for possible further action. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the panel, will review the report and recommend to the court’s chief justice that the special grand jury be dissolved. A county high court judge will then vote on whether to release the special grand jury or require further investigation.
A special grand jury cannot indict. Willis will go to a regular grand jury to decide whether to pursue criminal charges.
What have we learned about research?
Over a year into the investigation, Willis revealed little. But ironically, once the special grand jury began meeting in his June, its minutes shrouded in obligatory secrecy, hints of where the investigation was headed began to emerge.
That’s because whenever Willis wanted to compel testimony from someone living outside of Georgia, she had to file papers with public court records. Explain why the person was a “necessary and material witness.” Additionally, anyone fighting a subpoena had to do so with public court filings and hearings.
In documents filed by Willis, he said he wanted to know about communications with the Trump campaign and those involved in a coordinated multistate effort to influence the outcome of the November 2020 Georgia election. Stated. and elsewhere.
Prominent Trump supporters asked to testify included former New York City mayor and Trump attorney Rudy GiulianiSenator Lindsey Graham Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from South Carolina Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynnand John Eastman Other lawyers who have joined Trump’s attempts to stay in power.
“From the identities of the witnesses, we know this is a broad conspiracy she sees,” said the former special adviser to the House Judiciary Committee on the original Trump impeachment and co-authoring the Brookings Institution report. Author Noam Eisen said: Analyzes “reported facts and applicable law” in the Fulton County investigation.
Have you ever been frustrated?
Many Trump advisers and allies opposed Willis’ attempts to bring them in for testimony, but in most cases Willis won.
“I think there’s a good chance there will be a pre-trial skirmish if she files charges,” Eisen said.
Willis said she hosted a fundraiser for the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, even though her investigation focused on the state’s fake electors, including Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Bart Jones. McBurney said it created a “clear, real and untenable confrontation”, and Willis questioned and accused Jones, who won the election in November. It ruled that it could not be done.
What is the focus of your research?
Information released indicates that Willis was looking into:
— Call by Trump et al. Georgia Officials Following 2020 Elections
— A group of 16 Georgia Republicans who signed the certificate in December 2020 That Trump won the state and that they are the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors
— False allegations of election fraud made during a state legislative meeting at the Georgia State Capitol in December 2020
— Copy of data and software From rural election tools in Coffee County by a computer forensics team hired by Trump allies
— alleged attempt Put pressure on Fulton County election official Ruby Freeman False Confessions of Election Fraud
— sudden resignation January 2021 Atlanta US Attorney’s
What about that infamous phone?
By phone on January 2, 2021 Between Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, the president won the votes Republicans, the state’s top election officials, needed to reverse a narrow defeat to Democrat Joe Biden. suggested that it is possible to “find”
A month later Willis sent a letter Raffensperger and other state officials who instructed them to keep records because she was investigating “attempts to influence the conduct of the 2020 Georgia general election.”
Trump told Raffensperger he needed 11,780 votes, one more than Biden. It was a mistake, said Cunningham. Because of the specific and transactional nature of that comment, it’s hard to say that he was merely urging Ravensperger generally to investigate allegations of fraud.
But other legal experts say prosecutors may have trouble proving criminal intent. This must show that the action was done intentionally, intentionally, recklessly or negligently.
What charges may be considered?
In a letter to state leaders in February 2021, Willis said he was guilty of “soliciting election fraud, making false statements to state and local government agencies, conspiring, racketeering, breaking oaths of office, and administering elections.” related violence or intimidation.”
Many believe Willis will face charges under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO. took advantage of that law to secure indictment in a test-cheating scandal against an Atlanta educator. More recently, it has also been used to target suspected gang activity.
State RICO laws, which are broader than federal law, require prosecutors to prove a pattern of criminal activity by a company. This can be an individual or a group of related individuals. This allows prosecutors to claim involvement in criminal patterns without having to prove that each person participated in every act.
Eisen said RICO seemed “best suited to the nature of the people testifying and the questions she wanted to ask.”
When the special grand jury was on the move, Willis informed several people that they were under investigation, including Giuliani and the state’s 16 bogus electors. Others may have received similar notices but have not disclosed them publicly.
what did trump say?
The former president consistently called the call with Ravensperger “perfect” and dismissed the Fulton County investigation as a witch hunt.
Criminal Defense Attorney Drew FindlingA member of Trump’s legal team in Georgia.
Allies of Trump have also denied wrongdoing.