Parts of a Fulton County grand jury’s findings investigating potential involvement in the 2020 election by former President Donald Trump and his friends will be made public this week, a Georgia judge said on Monday.
Judge Robert McBurney of the Superior Court found that the report’s introduction and conclusion, as well as section VIII, where jurors express worry that some witnesses might have lied under oath, can be made public. His decision was contained in an eight-page opinion. He stated that those witnesses were not named.
To investigate “‘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 Fulton County district attorney’s office convened the particular purpose grand jury.
Last month, the grand jury gave Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis a report containing its findings. Willis will decide whether to submit information to a grand jury for criminal indictments.
In his ruling Monday, McBurney said that the report includes recommendations for “who should (or should not) be indicted, and for what,” but those parts would remain sealed for now.
He had received a petition from several news organizations to release the report, and he somewhat agreed with their justification.
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While it may not be practical for the District Attorney’s inquiry to proceed at a certain pace, disclosure is necessary because of the intense public interest in these proceedings and the apparent value and significance of transparency, according to McBurney.
He said he timed the release for Thursday so the parties involved could make redactions, if necessary.
According to McBurney, the remainder of the report shouldn’t be made public “until the District Attorney completes her inquiry.”
Willis applauded the ruling in a statement: “I believe Judge McBurney’s order is legally sound and consistent with my request. I have no plans to appeal today’s order.”
Willis requested the special grand jury last year because it had the authority to subpoena witnesses and compel their testimony.
Those questioned included Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and several persons who served as “alternative electors” to those who were legitimately chosen in the state.
Also testifying were Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp, both of whom Trump and his associates exerted pressure on to influence the outcome of the 2020 election.
The Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which Trump pushed Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, to annul Joe Biden’s victory, was one of the episodes the grand jury looked into.
“This is all I want to do. I need to secure 11,780 votes, one more than we currently have. Trump stated throughout the call that we won the state. Trump has dubbed the investigation a “witch hunt” and denied any wrongdoing.
For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.