This week, a Georgia grand jury found that one or more witnesses – who gave testimony in a criminal probe of former President Donald Trump – may have lied under oath while testifying, and the panel recommended that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willispursue indictments for perjury in those cases.
What We Know
The witnesses were not revealed in the unsealed excerpt, and potential charges are unknown.
“A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” the report, which was obtained by The Washington Post, stated. “The grand jury recommends that the district attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”
The report didn’t say whether the former president should be indicted for interfering in the 2020 election, but the jurors said witnesses who lied about what happened should face prosecution.
“The grand jury 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 still claiming that such fraud took place,” the report read. “We find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.”
Willis convened the grand jury last May as a preliminary step in exploring how Trump and his associates attempted to undermine Georgia’s election. The grand jury didn’t have the authority to indict anyone, but rather it was tasked with producing a report that would outline a path forward for prosecutors.
The DA may still choose to put together a more traditional grand jury, The Daily Beast reported. It would also have the power to potentially indict Trump, as well as his advisors who lied to Georgia legislators, and other political allies who banded together in efforts to stop Congress from certifying that President Joe Biden won the Peach State.
Already Willis has indicated that she could move in that direction.
January 2, 2021, Call in Question
The probe involves – among other things – a January 2, 2021 call in which then President Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes,” the number needed for Trump to win the state and its 16 Electoral College votes.
Raffensperger refused to comply.
Trump’s campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung,” told NBC News that the former president “did absolutely nothing wrong,” and instead suggested, “The president participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do.”
Will Donald Trump Be Indicted?
Legal experts are divided on whether Trump will be indicted, Salon.com reported.
The nonpartisan Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), noted, “Trump is alleged to have repeatedly lied about the 2020 election to Georgia officials and to have used that misleading conduct, as well as intimidation and threats, to push them to change the election outcome. Trump may have committed the crime of false statements and improperly influencing government officials when he repeatedly told Raffensperger that he won the election as well as when he listed numerous inaccuracies and falsehoods about the election.”
In addition, the group argued that Trump and his allies may have committed false searing and forgery, as well as criminal solicitation when they solicited conduct from Georgia state officials to change the election results in Trump’s favor.
Those are serious charges, and indictments may be coming sooner than later.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.