Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis says that over 100 potential witnesses have been identified for the criminal investigation that she is conducting into efforts by former President Donald Trump and others to overturn Georgia’s presidential election outcome. These efforts include a phone conversation that Trump had early last year with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president pressured the top Georgia elections official to “find” enough votes to flip the state, where Biden won. Willis recently scored approval from local judges for a special grand jury, which is set to start work in May and will be able to issue subpoenas for witnesses and documents.
NBC News confirms: Fulton County DA Fani Willis is asking the FBI for security help a day after Trump told his supporters to hold 'the biggest protests we've ever had' in cities with prosecutors who are investigating him. @NBCNews
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 31, 2022
Perks of a special grand jury, as opposed to a regular one, include that it focuses on a single probe instead of a slew of them and works for longer than regular ones. Willis told CNN that she “[thinks] the reason we needed a special-purpose grand jury was certainly we have tried to, for several months now, just call people in and ask them to speak to us. And some people are hesitant to do so — they were requesting a subpoena,” adding: “And so for my purposes, for the purposes of us being able to investigate, we needed a special-purpose grand jury.” Willis expressed confidence to CNN that her investigation could go forward, commenting in reference to an argument from Trump’s legal team that he can’t be prosecuted for potential crimes committed during his presidency that she doesn’t “think that that protection will prevent a prosecution if that becomes necessary in this state case.”
New: National Archives says in statement they removed 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago: “Trump’s representatives have informed NARA that they are continuing to search for additional Presidential records.”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) February 7, 2022
Pointedly, Willis added as follows:
‘This is a criminal investigation. We’re not here playing a game… I plan to use the power of the law. We are all citizens… Mr. Trump, just as every other American citizen, is entitled to dignity. He’s entitled to be treated fairly. He will be treated fairly in this jurisdiction… But I plan to do my job and my job is to make sure that we get the evidence that gives us the truth. I’m not concerned at all about games to delay this.’
Donald Trump is making it pretty clear he was on the side of the people who violently attacked the government
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) February 8, 2022
In her original request for the special grand jury, Willis wrote that her team “received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions.” It’s been reported in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution that Willis is looking into potential offenses including “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, intentional interference with the performance of election duties, conspiracy, and racketeering.” At the federal level, certain observers have expressed concerns about whether the Justice Department is pursuing leads regarding Trump’s election interference as aggressively as would be appropriate — although deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco has now confirmed that federal prosecutors are examining a multi-state scheme to assemble essentially faked electoral votes on Trump’s behalf.
Atlanta DA investigating Trump plans to start issuing subpoenas in May, with a bulk to come in the summer — and has identified about 100 witnesses. “All of them are not going to welcome our invitation to come speak with us," Willis to @SaraMurray https://t.co/KvAOWMB6U5
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 8, 2022