A Georgia district attorney’s request to convene a special grand jury was approved Monday in the criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to reverse the 2020 election results in the state.
Fani T. Willis, an Atlanta prosecutor, requested the grand jury last week after key witnesses identified by investigators refused to voluntarily cooperate. Assembling a grand jury — which could issue subpoenas — is the next step in an investigation legal experts view as potentially threatening the former president.
“The special purpose grand jury has jurisdiction to investigate all facts and circumstances directly or indirectly related to alleged violations of the laws of the State of Georgia,” said the warrant of approval, signed by Christopher S. Brasher, the Chief Justice of the Fulton County Superior Court.
The grand jury would begin its work on May 2 and continue “for a period of not more than 12 months,” the order said.
Legal experts have been following the Georgia case for months and say the former president’s criminal exposure may include charges of racketeering or conspiracy. It is the only known criminal case to directly target Mr Trump’s attempts to reverse the election.
Politically, the case is set in a state that played a pivotal role in President Biden’s path to the White House. Mr. Biden became the first Democrat since 1992 to win Georgia’s electoral votes in 2020. The actions of Mr. Trump and his allies during the two months following Mr. Biden’s victory were the focus of Ms. Willis’ criminal investigation. .
After Mr. Trump’s election loss — and before Georgia held two senate elections in January — Mr. Trump began to publicly contest the results of the elections in the states he lost, including Georgia. On January 2, he called Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State for Georgia, and asked him to “find 11,780 votes” — the margin by which Mr. Trump lost the state.
The call was the start of a firestorm that continues to have political and legal ramifications. Mr. Trump, who remains the most influential figure in the Republican Party and is a likely candidate for president in 2024, has previously stated that his interview with Mr. Raffensperger was “perfect.”
The former president has previously scrutinized legal issues, including investigations into his businesses and finances, and is the only president to have been impeached twice. He previously dismissed other investigations as politically motivated. Mrs. Willis, the Atlanta District Attorney, is a Democrat
The Georgia case is one of several criminal, civil, and congressional investigations targeting Mr. Trump. A Democrat-led Congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol recently won a Supreme Court victory, allowing it to obtain White House data.
The Trump Investigations
Countless questions. Since former President Donald Trump left office, there have been many investigations and investigations into his businesses and personal affairs. Here is a list of the current ones:
There are two major investigations underway in New York. One is a criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney into Mr Trump’s financial dealings. The other is at the state level: Attorney General Letitia James is leading a civil fraud investigation into Mr Trump’s business practices. Ms. James recently issued subpoenas for interviews with two of Mr Trump’s adult children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and her office had previously interviewed a third, Eric Trump.
Trump representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
If Ms. Willis were to win a conviction in Georgia, that review by state appeals courts would have to survive. The courts are controlled by Republican appointees.