Atlanta Prosecutor Requests Special Grand Jury in Trump Election Probe
Fani Willis, the Fulton County DA investigating Trump’s Georgia election meddlingAlyssa Pointer/TNS/Zuma
Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.In early January 2021, then-President Donald Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and demanded that he “find 11,780 votes” to sway the state’s 2020 election results in Trump’s favor. Now, a Georgia district attorney is escalating her investigation into Trump’s election meddling, requesting a special grand jury to compel witnesses—namely Raffensperger—to testify in the probe.
Since February, Fulton County DA Fani Willis has been looking into potential crimes in the effort to overturn the election. In a Thursday letter to the chief judge of the county’s superior court, first obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Willis wrote that there was a “reasonable probability” that the state’s 2020 presidential election had been “subject to criminal disruptions.” She requested a special grand jury because multiple people, including Raffensperger—“an essential witness to the investigation”—have indicated they wouldn’t cooperate without subpoenas.
A special grand jury would focus on the Trump investigation in particular, whereas a regular grand jury would handle multiple cases.
Trump has already issued a statement doubling down on his false accusations of voter fraud in Georgia and suggesting that the phone call with Raffensperger might have been illegally recorded. (Georgia is a one-party consent state, meaning that any participant in a phone call may record it.) “My phone call to the Secretary of State of Georgia was perfect, perhaps even more so than my call with the Ukrainian President, if that’s possible,” he wrote—a reference to the 2019 scandal that led to his first impeachment trial.