Sunday, January 29, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Georgia court OKs special grand jury for Trump election probe

The Atlanta district attorney investigating whether the 45th president committed crimes in his efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results has been granted a special grand jury for the case.

ATLANTA (CN) — The judges of the Fulton County Superior Court on Monday approved the request for a special grand jury to be used for District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation of former President Donald Trump and his efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.

Chief Judge Christopher S. Brasher wrote in a two-page order that a majority of the court's judges had approved Willis' request made last week, in which she said a “significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.”

The special grand jury will be impaneled May 2 and meet for a period “not to exceed 12 months,” Brasher wrote in an order.

“The special purpose grand jury shall be authorized to investigate any and all facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to alleged violations of the laws of the State of Georgia,” Brasher wrote.

Judge Robert C. I. McBurney has been assigned the role of supervising and assisting the special grand jury.

Willis’ criminal probe was launched in February 2021 and is centered on the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call that Trump made to Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he urged the Republican to “find” the 11,780 votes to overcome Joe Biden’s win in the Peach State.

The call is just one of many efforts made by Trump to support his baseless claims that the election was fraudulent and stolen by the Democratic Party.

Although Willis has said Raffensperger is "an essential witness" to the case, he said he will not participate in interviews for her investigation without a formal subpoena from her office, which the special grand jury could approve.

Willis has said the criminal investigation covers potential “solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”

While a regular Fulton County grand jury hears hundreds of felony cases over two months, a special grand jury has 16 to 23 members who focus on a single case for as long as the prosecutors need, which Willis said in her letter to the court last week is “appropriate to the complexity of the facts and circumstances involved.”

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Loading
Loading...