Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia will on Monday begin the time of action of choosing a special grand jury to probe whether former president Donald Trump or any of his allies broke state election laws while trying to pressure officials to throw out President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
The grand jury was called for by the Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis, in January.
At the time, Ms Willis asked a panel of Georgia judges to convene the grand jury, citing “information suggesting a reasonable probability” that the election “was unprotected to possible criminal disruptions”.
Ms Willis’ call for a grand jury to probe the former president’s actions was in part prompted by a now-infamous 2 January 2021 phone call between Mr Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president berated Mr Raffensperger and pressured him to “find 11,780 votes” – the margin by which Mr Biden had won the Peach State.
Mr Trump has described his conversation with Mr Raffensperger as “perfect” and a spokesperson for Mr Trump has alleged that Ms Willis should be investigating baseless claims of voter fraud instead of the former president.
In her request to the judges, Ms Willis said the grand jury will have “an investigatory focus appropriate to the complexity of the facts and circumstances involved,” noting it is necessary because “a meaningful number of witnesses and prospective witnesses” have refused to cooperate with her office’s investigation “absent a subpoena requiring their testimony”.
But in a 19 April interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she said she will refrain from issuing any subpoenas until after Georgia’s 24 May dominant to avoid accusations that she is trying to influence the 2022 midterm elections.
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