Will Trump Be Indicted In Georgia? Fulton County DA Suggests ‘Multiple’ People Could ‘Imminently’ Face Charges In 2020 Election Probe

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Topline

The district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, will soon determine whether to bring charges against former President Donald Trump or allies who backed his effort to overturn the 2020 election, she said Tuesday, asking a judge not to publicly release a report that would say whether or not there’s evidence of a crime—and suggesting multiple people could be indicted.

Key Facts

DA Fani Willis asked a Fulton County Superior Court judge Tuesday not to make public a special grand jury report that outlines a months-long investigation into Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election, which would recommend whether or not charges should be brought and evidence to back that up.

Willis argued it would be harmful to “future defendants” if the report was released right now, based on its contents, saying it could stymie “later individuals’—multiple—[ability] to get a fair trial.”

“Decisions are imminent,” Willis told Judge Robert McBurney, arguing he had also read the report and should understand why it could be harmful.

The DA said withholding the decision was “in the interest of justice” and she wanted to be “mindful of protecting future defendants’ rights.”

Her office still hasn’t made final decisions yet on whether people should be charged, Donald Wakeford, an attorney for the DA, told the court, noting there “has not been a meaningful amount of time to assess” the report and take its recommendations into account.

What To Watch For

McBurney still hasn’t determined yet whether or not to make the report public, and it’s unclear when he’ll issue a decision. The special grand jury that was convened to investigate the election doesn’t actually have the power to bring charges against anyone itself, but Willis will use its recommendations to determine if a second, regular grand jury should be convened and consider whether to indict anyone. In addition to Trump, “fake” electors who submitted a false slate of electors to Congress claiming Trump won the state have also been informed they’re targets of the investigation and could face charges, as has attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Surprising Fact

Trump’s attorneys were not present at the hearing on Tuesday, and said in a statement Monday that Trump had not been subpoenaed or asked to appear at all before the grand jury or provide documents. The attorneys said they “assume” that means the grand jury “concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump,” though there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that’s the case.

Key Background

Willis’ office has been investigating Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss since February 2021, based on Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he asked Raffensperger to “find” enough votes for Trump to win the state. The call and Trump’s other post-election efforts could violate a range of state election laws, a Brookings Institution analysis notes, including criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and election interference. The investigation has included interviews with 75 witnesses, the DA’s office said, including Raffensperger and leading Trump allies like former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Giuliani. The grand jury was dissolved earlier in January after first convening in May 2022, prompting the new legal tussle over whether its report should be made public, and none of the contents of its final report have yet been released or leaked to the press.

Chief Critic

Trump railed against the accusations against him in Georgia Tuesday on Truth Social, claiming his phone call with Raffensperger was “PERFECT” and claiming he “won Georgia by a lot.” President Joe Biden won Georgia with 49.5% of the vote, and there is no credible evidence to suggest any widespread election fraud.

Further Reading

Georgia’s Trump 2020 Investigation Heats Up Following Midterms (Forbes)

Final report of Ga. grand jury investigating Trump may be released soon (Washington Post)

Backgrounder: Fulton County Special Grand Jury Investigation Into 2020 Presidential Interference (States United Democracy Center)

Fulton County, Georgia’s Trump Investigation (Brookings Institution)

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