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Special Purpose Grand Jury Investigating Donald Trump’s Efforts to Overturn 2020 Election in Georgia

The investigation into former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state of Georgia has taken an important step forward. On Thursday, portions of the report from the special grand jury convened to determine whether Trump illegally interfered with the election were released.[0]

In the partial release, the introduction, conclusion, and Section VIII of the report are included. Section VIII is of particular note, as the grand jury expresses their worries that some individuals may have lied while under oath during their testimony.[1] The report also states that the grand jury heard evidence from or involving 75 witnesses and recommends that the district attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.[2]

The special purpose grand jury was convened in May 2022 at the request of Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, with a charter to conduct a criminal investigation into “the facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 presidential elections in the State or Georgia.”[3] It is said that the inquiry focused mainly on the attempts of former President Donald Trump and his supporters to nullify the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia and secure its 16 electoral votes, despite having lost to Joe Biden in the state.[4]

The purpose of this inquiry is to ascertain if Donald Trump and his associates infringed upon Georgia's statute in their attempt to reverse the 2020 election results.[5] Donald Trump's notorious plea to Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, imploring him to alter the results of the election, was among his efforts.[6] President Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger to provide him with 11,780 more votes, so they could be assured of winning the state, which was one more than they already had. Raffensperger, however, turned down the request.[4]

The special purpose grand jury is seated to investigate one topic and has no time limit.[6] A special grand jury can subpoena witnesses, however, it cannot indict someone.[5] The recommendation to prosecutors as to whether to proceed with charges is made by this instead.[6] According to Willis, a decision to charge by the office is “imminent,” yet it is uncertain when this will occur, nor is it guaranteed that Trump will be among the initial defendants – even if the grand jury suggest in their complete report that he should be charged or the DA is of the opinion that the evidence warrants charges against him.[7]

Willis has informed Rudy Giuliani, who was instrumental in spreading false information regarding the election in Georgia and other places, that he is being targeted by her inquiry.[6]

0. “The Georgia grand jury looking into Trump election interference has released a portion of its report. Here’s what to know.” The Boston Globe, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/02/16/nation/georgia-grand-jury-looking-into-trump-election-inference-has-released-portion-its-report-heres-what-know/

1. “Newt Gingrich won't have to testify before special grand jury in Georgia” CNN, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/16/politics/newt-gingrich-special-grand-jury-georgia/index.html

2. “Judge releases part of Georgia grand jury report on alleged 2020 election tampering” POLITICO, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/16/judge-grand-jury-report-alleged-election-tampering-00083233

3. “Reading the Tea Leaves in Fulton County” Lawfare, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.lawfareblog.com/reading-tea-leaves-fulton-county

4. “Witnesses in Trump election probe may have lied: Georgia grand jury” Grid, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.grid.news/story/politics/2023/02/16/witnesses-in-georgia-2020-election-probe-may-have-lied-grand-jury-says/

5. “Witnesses in Trump investigation may have lied, says Georgia grand jury report” The Guardian US, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/16/georgia-grand-jury-report-witnesses-trump-investigation-perjury

6. “What does the release of Georgia’s grand jury report mean for Trump?” The Guardian US, 23 Jan. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/17/trump-report-georgia-crimes-charges-grand-jury-investigation-explained

7. “Decoding the Fulton County document dump – POLITICO” POLITICO, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2023/02/16/decoding-fulton-countys-document-dump-00083358