- By Holly Honderich
- BBC News, Washington, DC
A US grand jury has been set up in Georgia to consider evidence against former President Donald Trump in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The Atlanta-based grand jury could decide whether Trump should face criminal charges for trying to reverse his narrow loss in the state.
The Republican denied any wrongdoing, calling the matter a “witch hunt”.
Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Wallis, a Democrat, launched the investigation in early 2021.
The two-and-a-half-year investigation led to a wide-ranging investigation into various efforts by Trump and his allies to influence the outcome of the election in his favour.
Those efforts include a January 2021 call between Mr. Trump and the state’s top election official, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the then-president suggested state officials “find” more than 11,000 votes — enough to give him a win at the time. . time. . condition.
In a recording of the call, Mr. Raffensperger is heard replying that Georgia’s results are correct.
In the months since he left the White House, Trump has continued to make baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud and claimed that votes were stolen from him.
But Mr. Trump — the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — continues to deny the results of the 2020 presidential election, calls the investigation a “political witch hunt” and calls his call with Mr. Raffensperger “perfect.”
Another grand jury
A grand jury has already heard the Georgia case. Over the past six months, a special grand jury has convened and cross-examined dozens of witnesses, including several prominent Republicans.
He had the power to issue subpoenas—a subpoena—and to make a final report that could make recommendations, but he had no power to charge anyone.
The special grand jury found no widespread voter fraud in Georgia, but did recommend several charges, called indictments, for the alleged perjury.
The judge handling the case said much of the grand jury report was withheld from the public to protect the rights of “potential future defendants.”
But an unsealed summary section of the report states, “The majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more of the witnesses testifying before it.” Unsealed portions do not reveal witnesses who allegedly lied under oath.
Starting Tuesday, a new grand jury term begins in Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs. Two groups of 26 members have been selected, one of which is expected to take up a case against Trump and his allies.
To bring criminal charges against the former president, District Attorney Ms. Willis and her team must present their case to one of the grand juries in session on Tuesday.
Possible indictments in the case could be issued between July 11 and September 1, Wallis wrote in a letter to local officials, which coincides with Fulton County’s final two-month term for grand juries.
Trump also faces charges in separate criminal investigations in New York and Florida, which he denies, and was ordered to pay a writer millions of dollars after he was found responsible for sexual assault.