Georgia DA Asks for Special Grand Jury to Investigate Trump in 2020 Election Probe

Georgia DA Asks for Special Grand Jury to Investigate Trump in 2020 Election Probe

District Attorney, Georgia

1/20/2022 10:44:00 PM

Georgia DA Asks for Special Grand Jury to Investigate Trump in 2020 Election Probe

The Georgia prosecutor investigating possible attempts to interfere in the 2020 general election by former President Donald Trump and others has asked for a special grand jury to aid the investigation

In a statement Thursday, Trump said his call to Raffensperger was “perfect.”“I didn’t say anything wrong in the call, made while I was President on behalf of the United States of America, to look into the massive voter fraud which took place in Georgia,” Trump said. He ended his statement by saying, “No more political witch hunts!”

Federal and state officials have repeatedly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia or elsewhere in the country during the 2020 election.Willis' office has tried to interview multiple witnesses and gather evidence, but some witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate without a subpoena, she wrote in the letter to Brasher. For example, Willis wrote in the letter that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom she calls an “essential witness,” has “indicated that he will not participate in an interview or otherwise offer evidence until he is presented with a subpoena by my office." A special grand jury would have the power to subpoena witnesses.

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Georgia DA Asks For Special Grand Jury To Investigate Trump Election InterferenceFulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability' that Georgia ’s administration of elections in 2020 'was subject to possible criminal disruptions.”

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Rudy Giuliani among Trump allies subpoenaed by Jan. 6 panelWASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the U. S. Capitol insurrection issued subpoenas Tuesday to Rudy Giuliani and other members of Donald Trump’s legal team who filed bogus legal challenges to the 2020 election that fueled the lie that race had been stolen from the former president. The committee is continuing to widen its scope into Trump’s orbit, this time demanding information and testimony from Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Boris Epshteyn.

A Trump spokesman has previously dismissed the investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Graham has also denied any wrongdoing. In a statement Thursday, Trump said his call to Raffensperger was “perfect.” “I didn’t say anything wrong in the call, made while I was President on behalf of the United States of America, to look into the massive voter fraud which took place in Georgia,” Trump said. He ended his statement by saying, “No more political witch hunts!” Federal and state officials have repeatedly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia or elsewhere in the country during the 2020 election. Willis' office has tried to interview multiple witnesses and gather evidence, but some witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate without a subpoena, she wrote in the letter to Brasher. For example, Willis wrote in the letter that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom she calls an “essential witness,” has “indicated that he will not participate in an interview or otherwise offer evidence until he is presented with a subpoena by my office." A special grand jury would have the power to subpoena witnesses. Raffensperger's office did not immediately respond to an email Thursday asking whether he would decline to participate without a subpoena. Special grand juries, which are not used often in Georgia, can help in the investigation of complex matters. They do not have the power to return an indictment but can make recommendations to prosecutors on criminal prosecutions. Willis said the special grand jury is needed because it can serve a term longer than a normal grand jury term. It would also be able to focus on this investigation alone, allowing it to focus on the complex facts and circumstances. And having a special grand jury would mean that the regular seated grand jury wouldn't have to deal with this investigation in addition to their regular duties, Willis wrote. She also asked that a superior court judge be appointed to assist and supervise the special grand jury in its investigation. Willis, who took office in January 2021, sent letters to top elected officials in Georgia in February instructing them to preserve any records related to the general election, particularly any evidence of attempts to influence election officials. The probe includes “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration,” the letters said. Willis, a longtime prosecutor, has repeatedly said that she's aware of the intense public interest in her investigation, but she's said she won't be rushed. She told the AP that a decision on whether to seek charges in the case could come in the first half of this year. In her letter to Brasher, Willis said her office has learned that people who may have tried to influence Georgia's election have had contact with the secretary of state, the state attorney general and the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta. That means her office is the only one with the authority to investigate these matters that is not also a potential witness. Legislatures in Texas, Florida and other states have proposed limits on ballot drop boxes and other election security measures. The laws come after former President Donald Trump claimed of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, contrary to multiple lawsuits and audits that did not support his claims. Now, governors up for re-election in 2022 could see election policies become a major campaign issue, says Insider Senior Politics Reporter Grace Panetta. Copyright AP - Associated Press