The special grand jury that spent the better part of a year working on the criminal probe led in Georgia by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into pro-Trump meddling after the 2020 elections has finished its work, per the conclusions of supervising Judge Robert McBurney. He signed off on its dismissal and indicated a majority of evidently county Superior Court judges who reviewed the jury’s report were onboard.
The body was not provided the power to itself issue indictments, although there could be recommendations for criminal charges in the final report from its months-long work. If she decides to pursue charges against Trump or any of the other associates of his whose conduct was under scrutiny, Willis would need to pursue approval from a regular grand jury. A court hearing will take place later this month on January 24 over whether to make the special grand jury’s final report public. According to McBurney, the jury itself supported the public release of their conclusions.
The newly disbanding jury was able to issue subpoenas and heard numerous rounds of testimony, including from state GOP officials and allies of Trump outside the state whose testimony Willis was mostly successful in pursuing, although she sometimes ran into hurdles while seeking approval from judges local to witnesses residing out of state. A Texas appeals court questioned whether the special grand jury fulfilled the ordinary specifications for cooperation across state lines in a criminal probe since it couldn’t itself issue indictments. McBurney previously spoke to the specifically criminal nature of the special grand jury’s work. Willis turned to that kind of jury in evident connection to that it could operate for longer than a regular jury and with focus on a single probe. It wasn’t immediately clear what position she would take on publicly releasing the special grand jury’s report. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution initially said her office declined to comment.
In Willis’s probe, those already named targets — a status with the possibility of criminal charges — include Rudy Giuliani and various individuals who signed on as purported electors for Trump in Georgia despite Biden’s win in the state. Some of the specific, potential offenses Willis has reportedly had under investigation include solicitation to commit election fraud and interference with the performance of election duties.
Elsewhere, Trump is continuing to face the Justice Department investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has obtained evidence from local and state officials in a slew of locales where the results after the 2020 election were contested. Among what Smith was reportedly provided was documentation of a call to a Michigan county team seeking access to election machines from someone claiming to be on Trump’s team. Trump has also pushed for his reinstatement as president before the 2024 election even happens, although a lawsuit (in which he wasn’t involved) seeking to accomplish that very aim was predictably rejected by the Supreme Court this week.