Georgia Grand Jury Hands Down Indictments in Trump Election Case
A Fulton County, Georgia grand jury handed up 10 indictments stemming from an investigation into Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state. The indictments remain sealed and presiding Judge Robert McBurney did not disclose the defendants or the specific charges.
If Trump is a defendant, the Georgia grand jury’s indictments would be the fourth time the ex-president would be criminally charged since March, when a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him over various hush money payments he made prior to the 2016 election. In June, he was indicted by a federal grand jury for willfully retaining national defense information and conspiring to obstruct justice, and weeks later, he was indicted by a separate federal grand jury for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.
District Attorney Fani Willis first announced her investigation into Trump on February 10, 2021, just over a month after his infamous phone call with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, during which the then president demanded the state official “find” him the exact number of votes he needed to beat Joe Biden there. “All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensperger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.” Trump had also claimed that not coming up with said votes would be a “criminal offense,“ warning Raffensperger and the secretary of state’s general counsel, “You can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you.” (Raffensperger subsequently wrote in his book that he believed Trump was threatening him.) Trump also placed at least two additional phone calls to Georgia officials in his quest to overturn the election, one to David Ralston, who at the time was Georgia’s House Speaker, and one to Frances Watson, an investigator in Raffensperger’s office. (Trump wanted the former to convene a special legislative session to overturn Biden’s win in Georgia, and pressed the latter to expose “dishonesty” as she looked into absentee mail ballots.)
Willis’s investigation ultimately expanded to include the post-election activities of Trump and his allies in other states, and a scheme by a slate of “fake electors” to keep Trump in office.
Last year, a special grand jury was impaneled to investigate the case. It submitted a report in January that Trump’s attorneys attempted to quash (they also tried to get both Willis and the judge presiding over the inquiry thrown off the case). In February, when asked about the recommendations the special grand jury made regarding which individuals should be charged, jury forewoman Emily Kohrs told The New York Times it was “not a short list.” Asked whether the ex-president was on it, she added: “You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science.” Speaking to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in March, another juror said of the group’s report: “A lot’s gonna come out sooner or later. And it’s gonna be massive. It’s gonna be massive.”