Judge approves special grand jury in Georgia election investigation

ATLANTA (AP) – Judge approves a Request a special grand jury By Georgia Attorney investigate whether Former President Donald Trump and others have violated the law by trying to pressure Georgia officials to give up Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis sent a letter to County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher last week asking him to special grand juryBrasher issued an order Monday saying the request was considered and approved by a majority of the Superior Court judges.

Brasher’s order said a special grand jury will sit on May 2 for a maximum term of one year. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney was assigned to oversee and assist the special grand jury.

In her letter to Brasher, Willis wrote that her office “received information that the administration of Georgia’s 2020 elections, including the state’s election to the President of the United States, has a reasonable likelihood of criminal interference. .” She said her office “has launched an investigation into any concerted attempt to unlawfully alter the state’s 2020 election results.”

The order said a special grand jury “shall be empowered, at the request of the District Attorney, to investigate any and all facts and circumstances related directly or indirectly to the alleged violation of Georgia law.”

Willis declined to discuss details of her investigation, but AP interview Earlier this month, she confirmed its scope includes, but is not limited to January 2, 2021, call Between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffinsburg November 2020 call Between U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Raffinsburg, sudden resignation Statement by the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta on January 4, 2021, and comments made during the Georgia Legislative Committee hearing on the election in December 2020.

In a statement last week, Trump called his call to Raffinsberg “perfect” and said he didn’t say anything wrong. Graham has also denied any wrongdoing.

A special grand jury, which Georgia does not often use, can help investigate complex matters. They do not have the right to return the indictment, but can advise prosecutors on criminal prosecution.

In her letter, Willis wrote that a special grand jury is necessary because it can serve longer than a normal grand jury, which is two months in Fulton County. It is also able to focus solely on this investigation, allowing it to focus on complex facts and circumstances. Having a special grand jury means that the normally seated grand jury does not have to deal with the investigation in addition to performing its regular duties, Willis wrote.

Willis’ investigation became public last February, when she sent a letter to top elected officials in Georgia instructing them to keep any records related to the election, especially any evidence of attempts to influence election officials. The investigation includes “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting solicitation of election fraud, making false statements to state and local government agencies, conspiracy, racketeering, violations of the oath of office, and participation in violence or threats related to election administration,” the letter said.

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