Fulton County’s district attorney said charging decisions are ‘imminent’ and argued against the release of a special grand jury report because it could impact ‘future defendants.’
The Georgia district attorney leading an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and his allies interfered with the 2020 election in the state said Tuesday that charging decisions in the probe are “imminent” and appeared to suggest that multiple people may be facing indictments.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made the comments during a hearing over whether or not a report from a special grand jury in the probe should be made public immediately.
“Decisions are imminent,” Willis told Judge Robert McBurney while arguing against the public release of the report.
“For future defendants to be treated fairly, it’s not appropriate at this time to have this report released,” she said. “We need to be mindful of protecting future defendants’ rights.”
The special grand jury recently completed seven months of work in the probe and voted to make its final report public, though McBurney said Tuesday that he would carefully consider arguments presented for and against the report’s release, ensuring that it will be kept secret for the very immediate future.
The grand jury did not have the power to issue indictments, and Willis is not obligated to act on the grand jury’s findings. The report, however, is expected to be made public at some point, inviting intense scrutiny of whatever prosecutorial decisions Willis makes.
The probe into Trump and his allies’ actions regarding the election began soon after Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger in January 2021 and asked him to “find” the votes needed for him to win.
The investigation included that phone call but expanded to examine other efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the state’s election results, including the actions of 16 Georgia Republicans who participated in a false-elector scheme. Trump lost to Biden by about 12,000 votes in Georgia, which proved to be a critical swing state.
The special grand jury heard testimony from a slate of high-profile figures, including Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Raffensperger and others. Trump’s lawyers have said that Trump was not called to give testimony to the special grand jury.