DA: Decision on Charges 'Imminent' in 2020 Election Case

Georgia grand jury's report on Trump case is staying private for now
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 5:11 PM CST
Georgia DA Says Charging Decisions 'Imminent' in Trump Case
Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at Mar-a-lago on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The Georgia grand jury investigating whether Donald Trump and his allies committed crimes in the state after the 2020 election completed its work earlier this month—but Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the lead prosecutor, wants its final report to stay private for now. At a hearing Tuesday, she told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney that charging decisions are "imminent," the Hill reports. "We want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly, and we think for future defendants to be treated fairly it’s not appropriate at this time to have this report released," she said. A coalition of media outlets is seeking for the full report to be made public.

Willis disclosed Tuesday that the grand jury heard from a total of 75 witnesses, including Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham. The investigation of Trump's effort to overturn the election results began soon after a recording of Trump urging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" more votes for him became public in early 2021, reports the AP. Donald Wakeford, the county's chief senior assistant DA, argued that releasing the report before charging decisions had been announced would be "dangerous to the people who may or may not be named in the report for various reasons," CNN reports. "It’s also a disservice to the witnesses who came to the grand jury and spoke the truth to the grand jury," he added.

Wakeford said the DA's position isn't "blanket opposition to release of the report forever," but they need more time to review the report. McBurney said Tuesday that the report will stay under wraps until he makes a final decision, the AP reports. "No one’s going to wake up with the court having disclosed the report on the front page of a newspaper," he said at the end of the hearing, promising that there would be no "rash decisions." In a statement, Trump's Georgia legal team said that since the former president was never subpoenaed or asked to testify voluntarily, "we can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump." (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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