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Special grand jury report in Georgia Trump case to be released

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A special grand jury report summarizing the Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney’s investigation into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election will be released Friday.

Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over the special purpose grand jury, last week ordered the public release of the report, which will reveal whether the grand jury recommended anyone else be indicted.

Instead of issuing indictments like a regular grand jury, the special purpose grand jury submits its findings to the district attorney, who then decides whether to present evidence to a grand jury for criminal charges.

Last month, a separate grand jury that heard the evidence in the case charged Trump and 18 others with felony racketeering and numerous conspiracy counts.

The special grand jury was convened last year as part of Willis’s investigation because it had the power to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify. The panel was dissolved earlier this year and portions of its report were made public in February, which said it had “received evidence from or involving 75 witnesses during the course of this investigation, the overwhelming majority of which information was delivered in person under oath.”

Those unsealed parts of the report revealed that grand jurors said they believed some witnesses might have lied under oath. The jury foreperson said in an interview in February that the panel had recommended indicting more than a dozen people.

Trump, for his part, has tried to quash the special grand jury report, arguing that all of the evidence should be deemed unconstitutional.

The regular grand jury’s 41-count indictment last month charged Trump and 18 others with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization, or RICO, Act. Willis accused the defendants of participating in efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Georgia and unlawfully name Trump the winner of the election.

Trump and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty.

On Thursday, Trump notified the state judge presiding over the case that he might try to move it to federal court. Willis has said she wants to put all 19 defendants, including the former president, on trial next month. So far, former Trump lawyers Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell are expected to stand trial starting Oct. 23 because they requested speedy trials.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the trial, said this week that he was “very skeptical” that Willis could try all 19 defendants in October. Nathan Wade, who was represented the district attorney’s office at the hearing, told the judge that a trial for all defendants would take about four months and that prosecutors expect 150 witnesses to testify.


Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.