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Georgia Judge Orders Limited Release of Grand Jury Report Investigating Trump’s Election Interference Efforts

The limited release of a highly anticipated report by the Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election was ordered by a Georgia judge earlier this week.[0]

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney on Monday ordered the release of the report's introduction and conclusion, as well as a section detailing jurors' concerns that some witnesses may have lied under oath.[1]

The 26-member grand jury determined “by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election,” the jurors wrote in the report’s introduction, which was released along with its conclusion and a brief chapter outlining the perjury concerns.[2]

The grand jury noted that some of the people interviewed during their investigation may have been untruthful.[1] The Grand Jury has reached a consensus that perjury may have been committed by certain witnesses who testified before them. It is therefore recommended that the District Attorney pursue indictments for any crimes where the evidence is convincing.[3]

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis – who has been investigating whether Trump and his allies meddled in the state’s 2020 presidential election – requested and oversaw the special purpose grand jury, which sat for seven months and heard testimony from 75 witnesses related to Trump and the 2020 election.[4] Witnesses included Trump's former lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.[5]

The probe started with Trump's call to Brad Raffensperger, in which the former president urged Georgia's top election official to “find 11,780 votes” to tilt the 2020 statewide election in his favor.[6] The investigation has since widened significantly and is also looking into allegations the Trump campaign plotted to send a group of fake electors to falsely claim that Trump had won the state in 2020, as well as claims of intimidation of election workers.[7]

The jury was not empowered to issue indictments, only recommendations.[6] Should Willis determine that prosecution is necessary, she would need to obtain indictments from an ordinary grand jury.[2] At a court hearing in January, Willis declared that decisions on charges were “imminent.”[8]

McBurney asserted that the report includes “a list of those who should (or should not) be charged.[9]

0. “READ: Fulton County grand jury releases report on Trump and the 2020 election” CNN, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/16/politics/read-fulton-county-grand-jury-report-trump/index.html

1. “Georgia judge to release portions of grand jury report on Trump election probe” CNBC, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/16/portions-of-trump-georgia-grand-jury-final-report-to-be-released.html

2. “Georgia grand jury report on Trump election probe partially released” MSNBC, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.msnbc.com/deadline-white-house/deadline-legal-blog/georgia-grand-jury-report-trump-election-probe-partially-released-rcna70632

3. “Judge releases parts of Trump grand jury report” BBC, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64656296

4. “Georgia Grand Jury: ‘No Widespread Fraud’ in 2020 Election” Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/georgia-grand-jury-no-widespread-fraud-2020-election-1234679929/

5. “Atlanta judge releases partial report of Trump 2020 election probe” Axios, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/02/16/donald-trump-investigation-2020-election-atlanta

6. “Georgia grand jury finds ‘no widespread fraud' in election, but possible perjury by witnesses” ABC News, 16 Feb. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/portions-georgia-grand-jury-report-trumps-2020-election/story?id=97225371

7. “Judge orders partial release of Georgia grand jury report on possible 2020 election crimes” POLITICO, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/13/judge-orders-partial-release-of-georgia-grand-jury-report-on-possible-2020-election-crimes-00082549

8. “Donald Trump Could Be Indicted for These 10 Crimes in Georgia” Newsweek, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-possible-charges-crimes-georgia-1781705

9. “Parts of report on Trump's Georgia election meddling to be released” The Jerusalem Post, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/international/article-731776