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Donald Trump’s Legal Headaches Just Got Worse

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. By Gage Skidmore.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

As expected, a Georgia judge on Thursday released a partial special grand jury report about efforts by the president and his allies to overturn the 2020 election result in that state. 

The special grand jury report from Georgia into whether President Donald Trump may have committed crimes in his efforts to overturn election results in that state has been released.

While it was only released in partial form, the report hints that the grand jury concluded that some witnesses may have perjured themselves before the special jury. 

“A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” a section of the report said, per NBC News. “The grand jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”

Those individuals were not named. Witnesses who testified before the grand jury included Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and several members of the slate of “fake electors” put forward by Trump’s team. Trump himself did not testify before the Georgia grand jury. 

There were many other witnesses, however. 

Per CNN, the majority of the report remains non-public. It’s possible that other determinations were made, including about Trump himself, which are in the non-public portions of the report. The released portion of the report is only six pages long, and consists, per the New York Times, of the “introduction, conclusion and a section detailing concerns about witnesses lying under oath.” 

It’s not clear if or when the remainder of the report will be released to the public. 

The panel “received evidence from or involving 75 witnesses during the course of this investigation, the overwhelming majority of which information was delivered in person under oath,” the report said. 

The special grand jury also concluded that, contrary to Donald Trump’s repeated claims, they found no evidence of widespread fraud in the state in 2020. 

The grand jury also “heard extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud from poll workers, investigators, technical experts, and State of Georgia employees and officials, as well as from persons who still claim such fraud took place. We find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place.”

It’s unclear whether anyone made claims under oath about election fraud; Trump lawyers and others have in the past been hesitant to make such claims in court or under oath. 

Judge Robert McBurney had ruled that the partial report be released, over the objections of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is determining whether to bring charges in the case. 

The panel in question is a “special grand jury,” which cannot make indictments, but it can recommend them. Willis, in the event she wants to bring charges, will need to bring them before a regular grand jury. 

At the heart of the investigation is Donald Trump’s call, on January 2, 2021, to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find” 11,780 votes in order to overturn the result that had President Biden defeating him in Georgia. The existence of the phone call, including a recording of it, was made public the following day by the Washington Post. 

But the probe goes beyond just the phone call. 

“Another component of the investigation is the recruiting of a slate of bogus presidential electors in the weeks after the 2020 election,” the Times said. “Those individuals met in secret in Georgia’s capital and signed documents that claimed they were the “duly elected and qualified electors,” even though they were not.” 

The Times also noted that the special grand jury has made clear that Willis’ office ““had nothing to do with the recommendations contained herein,” and that the jury had “used their collective best efforts” to “attend every session, listen to every witness, and attempt to understand the facts as presented and the laws as explained.”

BONUS: The Fall of Joe Biden Has Started  

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BONUS: Kamala Harris Should Quit 

BONUS: A Nuclear War over Ukraine

BONUS: Donald Trump Looks Desperate

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.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, 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.