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Topline

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked to convene a special grand jury to assist her criminal investigation into attempts to influence or overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia, including a phone call in which then-President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes for him.

Key Facts

In a letter that was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Willis told Chief Judge of Fulton County Superior Court Christopher Brasher that the special grand jury was needed because a “significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation” without a subpoena.

Willis noted “essential witness” Raffensperger has indicated he would not comply with the investigation unless he was issued a subpoena.

In Georgia, special grand juries cannot return indictments, but they can subpoena witnesses and compel the production of documents, according to Willis.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Key Background

Willis opened her investigation in February 2021 after a recording of the call between Trump and Raffensperger was published by the Washington Post. In the call, Trump pressured and threatened Raffensperger to help overturn his loss in the state, insisting that voter fraud altered the vote’s results. “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump said during the call. Trump also called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and a state investigator, who he reportedly urged to “find the fraud.” Judges dismissed lawsuits filed by Trump supporters asking for the election results to be thrown out and seeking an audit. Georgia election officials have said there was no evidence of voter fraud in runoff elections and in two recounts requested by Trump’s campaign. Multiple recounts confirmed Trump lost by about 12,000 votes in the state.

Tangent

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office also opened an investigation into the call in February 2021, which spokesperson Walter Jones called “fact-finding and administrative in nature” in a statement to multiple news organizations. Jones added at the time “any further legal efforts will be left to the attorney general.”

What To Watch For

The Journal-Constitution reports a majority of Fulton County Superior Court judges need to sign off on the request before it is approved.

Further Reading

Fulton DA requests special grand jury for Trump probe (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Georgia Prosecutors Reportedly Open Criminal Investigation Into Trump’s Call To Secretary Of State (Forbes)

Georgia Secretary Of State Investigating Trump’s Attempts To Overturn Election (Forbes)

Source: Forbes – Business

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