Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis has requested a special grand jury for her ongoing criminal investigation of efforts by former President Donald Trump and others to undercut the 2020 presidential election outcome in Georgia, where Biden was victorious. Those efforts included a phone conversation in early January of last year in which the then-president implored Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “find” enough votes to flip the state from Biden. The problem is that doing so would have required fraudulently meddling with the results, since there’s never been any legitimate evidence of some kind of initial swing due to missing votes or other systematic threats to the election’s integrity.
Just in: Jan. 6 committee says now they have “already begun to receive records that the former President had hoped to keep hidden” after Supreme Court rejected Trump’s request for an emergency stay:
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) January 20, 2022
Willis’s request for a special grand jury has to be approved by a majority of the superior court judges in Fulton County for it to go through. As explained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, special grand juries “can subpoena witnesses, compel the production of documents, inspect and enter into certain offices for the purposes of the investigation.” Special grand juries are also kept active for longer periods of time than ordinary grand juries, and a special grand jury — again unlike ordinary ones — focuses on a single investigation.
The Select Committee is requesting that Ivanka Trump provide information for the committee’s investigation.
In a letter to Ms. Trump seeking a voluntary interview, Chair @BennieGThompson underscored evidence that Trump was in direct contact with the former President on Jan 6th.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) January 20, 2022
Willis noted to Christopher S. Brasher — the chief judge of Fulton County’s Superior Court — that a “significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony,” making a special grand jury warranted. Willis pointed to Raffensperger’s remark late last year on NBC that “if [Willis] wants to interview me, there’s a process for that.” As previously recapped by the Journal-Constitution, Willis’s probe has been including an examination of potential criminal acts including “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, intentional interference with the performance of election duties, conspiracy and racketeering,” among other looming issues. Besides Trump, other prospective targets of the probe include Rudy Giuliani, who pushed lies about last year’s electoral process to Georgia state legislators.
This week, for the first time, evidence has emerged in court papers that prosecutors have posed questions to at least one Jan. 6 defendant "focused on establishing an organized conspiracy" involving Trump and his allies to "disrupt" the work of Congress. https://t.co/0KHm9bRLqF
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 19, 2022
Willis’s investigation appears to be the only active criminal investigation focused on Trump’s attempts to undercut the 2020 presidential election outcome — although a lawyer for a Capitol rioter recently indicated in a court filing that prosecutors had been asking about Trump. As attorney Bilal Essayli, who is representing pro-Trump activist Brandon Straka, put it, prosecutors were “focused on establishing an organized conspiracy between [Straka], President Donald J. Trump, and allies of the former president to disrupt the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.” Essayli said that Straka “answered all questions truthfully and denied the existence of any such plot.” Meanwhile, the House committee investigating the Capitol riot has been considering formally recommending Trump (and others) for prosecution by the Justice Department, but these potential recommendations would not be binding.
BREAKING: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is requesting a special grand jury to aid in her investigation of Trump and his efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results.https://t.co/4t6ahJgh4z
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 20, 2022