One of the many places in which former President Donald Trump is facing legal jeopardy is the state of Georgia, where a special grand jury, since last year, has been looking into the former president’s plot to overturn the election results in that state in 2020.
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The probe has concerned Trump’s phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger in which Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to get Trump declared the winner of the state, but it also includes other issues, including the “fake electors’ plot in that state.
Earlier this week, a judge ordered a partial version of the special grand jury’s report to be publicly released, and it’s scheduled to arrive on Thursday.
According to NBC News, the report released Thursday “will likely not include the grand jury’s recommendations on specific potential indictments,” following the order by Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.
Three parts will be released, according to the NBC report: “the introduction, the conclusion and a section in which jurors expressed concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath.” Those witnesses are not identified, however.
“The compelling public interest in these proceedings and the unquestionable value and importance of transparency require their release,” McBurney said in the decision to release the report.
Donald Trump lost Georgia by about 12,000 votes to Joe Biden, who became the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton to win that Southern state.
Among witnesses who testified before the special grand jury was Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, several of the “fake electors” on Trump’s slate, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who had fought unsuccessfully not to testify.
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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had argued against releasing the report now.
Willis will need to make a determination herself over whether to bring potential criminal charges to a grand jury. Willis had called for an investigation to determine whether there were “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections.”
McBurney, in his ruling in January, had stated that the special grand jury was tasked with looking into “the facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 elections in the State of Georgia’ and to prepare a report on whether anyone should be prosecuted for such potential crimes.”
The Georgia case is one of many in which Trump faces potential legal jeopardy, even as he ramps up his campaign to return to the White House in the 2024 election.
The ex-president is also facing a Special Counsel investigation, which is looking into both his Mar-a-Lago documents case and any role Trump played in the January 6 insurrection. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, meanwhile, has also begun presenting a case to a grand jury, reportedly centering on Trump’s payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
It’s not clear what time on Thursday the special grand jury report will be released.
“The big question is whether the portions will include any bits of information that shed new light on what Trump himself did two years ago and whether the special grand jury concluded that the former president committed any crimes,” CNN said of the Georgia report.
“I think that it is certainly possible that what is released … will indicate that the special grand jury has found that there was criminal conduct involved in the activities of the Trump Campaign in Georgia after the election,” Clark Cunningham, the W. Lee Burge Chair in Law and Ethics at Georgia State University College of Law, told CNN. “There is no doubt that whatever (the report is) referring to is either conduct that was done directly by Donald Trump or done on his behalf.”
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.