Trump’s Bid to Halt Georgia Election Investigation Dismissed by Supreme Court, Indictments May Be Imminent
Former President Donald Trump's legal team has made another attempt to halt the investigation into his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. Trump's lawyers filed a petition with the state's Supreme Court, seeking to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from investigating him and to quash the special grand jury report. This comes after a similar petition was filed with the Fulton County Superior Court in March. The legal maneuvering indicates Trump's concern about potential charges and the evidence obtained by the grand jury.
The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Trump's bid, stating that he had not shown the “extraordinary circumstances” necessary for their intervention. The court emphasized that it does not provide relief in such cases unless there are exceptional circumstances, which Trump failed to demonstrate. The decision allows the investigation to proceed, and Willis has indicated that she could announce charging decisions in the coming weeks.
The investigation led by Willis focuses on Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Georgia officials to overturn his election defeat. A key piece of evidence is an audio recording of a phone call in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” to give him the victory in the state. Willis has been building a case against Trump and his allies for over two years, and the investigation gained momentum after she formally opened a criminal investigation into Trump's election-related activities.
The special grand jury, empaneled in 2022, interviewed 75 witnesses and produced a report with recommendations for potential charges. The report concluded that Trump and his allies may have committed perjury. The evidence collected by the special grand jury will now be presented to a regular grand jury, which will decide whether to issue indictments. Trump's legal team has argued that the use of a special grand jury and the process followed violated Trump's due process rights.
Trump's attempt to halt the investigation comes as Willis has indicated that she could announce charging decisions between July 31 and August 18. She has requested that no in-person proceedings be scheduled at the courthouse during that period, suggesting that indictments may be imminent. If Trump is charged in Georgia, it would mark his third criminal case overall and his second state criminal case, alongside New York, where he is facing charges related to hush money payments.
The legal battle surrounding the investigation into Trump's election-related activities highlights the significance of the case and the potential consequences for the former president. As he considers running for president again, state charges could have more significant implications than federal charges, especially if a Republican takes the White House and potentially dismisses federal charges against Trump. The investigation in Georgia remains a critical legal challenge for Trump as he navigates the political landscape.
0. “Panicked Trump Wants Georgia Evidence Tossed to Stop Third Indictment” The New Republic, 14 Jul. 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/174355/trump-wants-georgia-evidence-tossed-stop-third-indictment
1. “Trump Petition to Disqualify Fani Willis Is ‘Absurd': Kirschner” Newsweek, 15 Jul. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/trump-petition-disqualify-fani-willis-absurd-kirschner-1813138
2. “Georgia Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to head off potential indictment” POLITICO, 17 Jul. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/07/17/georgia-supreme-court-trump-indictment-00106710
3. “Georgia Supreme Court tosses Trump attempt to challenge 2020 election investigation” The Independent, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-fulton-county-georgia-investigation-b2376996.html
4. “Trump indictment Georgia: What we know about Fani Willis' investigation so far.” Slate, 16 Jul. 2023, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/07/when-will-trump-be-indicted-in-georgia.html
5. “Charges related to Trump's alleged attempt to overturn 2020 election in Georgia could come soon. Here are the details.” CBS News, 17 Jul. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-investigation-fulton-county-georgia-what-to-know/
6. “Georgia Supreme Court Hands Trump a Legal Loss” Newsweek, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/georgia-supreme-court-hands-trump-legal-loss-1813549
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