Georgia District Attorney Puts Trump On Official Notice

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The selection of members for a special grand jury tied to Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis’s ongoing criminal investigation of former President Donald Trump and his allies’ attempts to undercut the 2020 presidential election outcome in Georgia will begin on Monday. Willis’s investigation could provide a critical opportunity to hold Trump accountable for some of the wide-ranging efforts he and others undertook to undo the presidential election outcome (meaning Biden’s victory). Once seated, the special grand jury — which is distinguished in part from regular grand juries by its focus on a single matter — will be able to issue subpoenas, although not indictments. Willis previously identified over 100 potential witnesses for her investigation.

Willis stated around that same time that she was seeking a special grand jury because of the resistance of certain individuals to the prospect of testifying without a subpoena. As she explained, she believed “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.” Subjects of Willis’s investigation include pressure by then-President Donald Trump on Georgia leadership to undercut the 2020 presidential election outcome there. Early last year, days before the Capitol riot, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), imploring him to “find” enough votes to flip the state, where Biden won. Other subjects include a phone conversation between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Raffensperger in which the South Carolina Senator asked about throwing out mail-in votes en masse.

Cameras will be allowed in the room during the selection of members of the special grand jury, although potential jurors won’t be permitted to be shown. When originally requesting the convening of a special grand jury, Willis said evidence indicated a “reasonable probability” of “possible criminal disruptions” to the relevant electoral process. It was 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.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has been among those pushing for action by the Justice Department on Trump’s actions.

Explaining on CBS that the “former president and his campaign may have violated any number of federal laws, including obstructing an official proceeding — the joint session [of Congress to certify the presidential election outcome] and defrauding the American people,” Schiff added: “And I do think that the Justice Department ought to be looking at these issues and ought to be investigating… I think if anyone else had engaged in that conversation [with Raffensperger], they would be under investigation, and it should be no different for the former president. So I think the department is diligently pursuing those who attacked the Capitol that day, but there were multiple lines of effort to overturn the election that may have violated the law, which also should be investigated.”