GA Prosecutor: 2020 Election Investigation Making Progress
A decision to charge Trump and others with crimes for attempting to sway Georgia authorities to reverse Joe Biden's election win is expected in the first part of the year. Last week, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told The Associated Press her staff is making good progress. To help the inquiry, she may call for a special grand jury with subpoena authority.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the prosecutor, weighing whether to bring charges against former President Trump and others, told The Associated Press her decision could come as early as the first half of this year. In the meantime, she has to decide whether to impanel a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation. Trump and his lawyers have tried to prevent this from happening for months.
Prosecutor In Trump Camp's Effort To Reverse Georgia Result Considering Special Grand Jury
Willis told the AP that she hasn't "imposed deadlines on her staff and has urged them to be thorough in their examination." If she decides to go ahead and impanel a special grand jury, the investigation will continue. If not, it will die.
Willis has invested a great deal in this investigation. He has assembled a team of fewer than ten people — lawyers, investigators, and a legal assistant — who are focused primarily on this case and can consult outside lawyers with particular expertise in certain related areas of law involved.
Willis repeated her mantra on the investigation during her AP interview, saying…
"We're going to just get the facts, get the law, be very methodical, very patient, and, to some extent, unemotional about this quest for justice."
She also refused to speak about the specifics of the investigation. Still, She did once again confirm that the scope of the investigation and that it includes but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.
Willis may not be the only prosecutor investigating attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election defeat. Attorney General Merrick Garland last week during a speech that Justice Department…
"Will follow the facts wherever they lead."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee released a report in October based on a review of documents and interviews with former officials. And a U.S. House committee is preparing to release the findings of its investigation of the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which included conversations with election officials who the former president pressured. The House Committee could make a criminal referral to the Justice Department concerning Trump and his allies attempt to pressure Georgia State officials to illegally overturn its 2020 election results.
A Trump spokesman had repeatedly dismissed the Fulton investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt" when it became public last February after Willis instructed Georgia's top elected officials to preserve any records related to the general election, particularly any evidence of attempts to influence election officials.
The ongoing investigation of "potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election's administration," could also be violations of numerous Federal laws.
Suppose Willis decides to impanel a special grand jury. In that case, she will have to file a request with the chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court, The Honorable Christopher S. Brasher, a nonpartisan elected official, to impanel a special grand jury. While she could decide whether she has enough for an indictment based on evidence and witnesses who speak with her team willingly, she said, a special grand jury can be helpful to compel people who refuse to testify without a subpoena.
"I like investigations to be complete, and so we probably would move in the direction of a special grand jury," she said.
As she has before, Willis insists she won't be rushed or influenced by the intense public interest in this case.
"I just think the public should be patient – you know, go on, lead your lives – trust that they've elected a district attorney that knows that this is a serious issue, takes it seriously, and we're doing our job here."
Willis, a Democrat and previously a prosecutor for 17 years in the office she now leads have reported receiving threats from unhappy people she's considering possibly prosecuting the former president. She told The AP the threats made include one where people…
"Expressed their frustration in a way that is so irrational that I believe that they would do me harm."
She went on to say…
"They are truly wasting their time. It is not going to deter me from doing my job, period," she said. "I'm not going to do any less or more because, you know, you try to offend me because I'm Black or female or of a political party. We were elected to do a job, and that's what I'm going to sit here and do."