Georgia’s Fulton County special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 election results completed its probe.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney issued an order Monday dissolving the Atlanta-area panel after the grand jurors issued a final report.
McBurney scheduled a hearing for January 24 to determine whether to make the report public. The hearing may feature arguments from prosecutors and “any consolidated media intervenors,” according to the order. The special grand jury recommended the report be publicized, McBurney said.
“The Court thanks the grand jurors for their dedication, professionalism, and significant commitment of time and attention to this important matter. It was no small sacrifice to serve,” McBurney wrote in the order.
The special grand jury had the authority to subpoena witnesses and documents but not to issue indictments. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may use the findings to pursue charges by impaneling a separate, regular grand jury.
Willis, a Democrat, began her investigation after a phone call audio recording surfaced in which Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes, enough to reverse his election loss to now-President Joe Biden in the state, arguing there was widespread voter fraud. Trump has defended the call as “perfect” and broadly rejected claims of wrongdoing.
The special grand jury began its work in May 2022 after superior court judges gave Willis permission to impanel one in January of that year. Several high-profile witnesses testified before the panel, including Raffensperger. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, testified before the grand jury after losing legal fights against subpoenas.
Willis’ investigation has expanded over time to examine election fraud claims made to state lawmakers, an alternate electors scheme, efforts to gain unauthorized access to voting machines, and threats to election workers, according to CNN. These alternate electors, along with Giuliani, have been informed they are targets of Willis’ investigation.
GOP officials insisted in court filings they did not break any laws, arguing they signed certificates to declare themselves as Trump electors in case legal challenges in Georgia managed to overturn the results, The Wall Street Journal report noted.
Trump, who announced a third bid for the White House in November, is separately under investigation by the federal government. Special counsel Jack Smith has been tasked with overseeing investigations into Trump’s handling of government documents after leaving office and the circumstances leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.