A special grand jury in Georgia could be Trump’s latest headache

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The criminal investigation on by Donald Trump efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, part of its wider crusade to invalidate Joe BidenThe victory at the time seems to be taking hold. Fani Willis, the Atlanta district attorney leading the investigation, is expected to soon convene “a grand jury dedicated exclusively to allegations of election tampering,” the New York Times reported Saturday, even if the decision is not yet final. The news is the latest development of the investigation against Trump and his allies, which he has went on quietly since Willis opened it in February. If he convenes a grand jury, it would be a step forward to hold the former president accountable for, among other things, the pressure on the Secretary of State of Georgia. Brad Raffensperger to “get” enough votes to reverse Biden’s victory in the state.

The pace of investigations in Georgia has so far been hampered by local issues requiring Willis’s attention, as well as a backlog of cases that has engulfed his office. Willis’s team looked to the House committee investigating the January 6 uprising at the Capitol for backup, as Congressional investigators. they are looking for evidence which could be of considerable use to them. But that road was also bogged down by “delays in gathering the panel’s facts,” according to the Times. However, Willis looks ready to get the ball rolling. Calling a special grand jury focused solely on Trump’s attempts to interfere with Georgia’s election results would indicate “that his investigation is escalating,” the paper noted. A special grand jury would do that consist 16 to 23 members and be able to issue subpoenas, though Times adds that Willis “should go back to a regular grand jury to seek criminal indictments.”

There are many accusations from the former president could be hit with in relation to his post-election conduct in Georgia, according to a recent analyses by the DC think tank, the Brookings Institution. They note that Trump made “personal requests to senior state officials” – from Secretary of State Raffensperger to Attorney General Chris Carr to the governor Brian Kemp, all Republicans – “to alter the outcome of a presidential election” whose results had already been certified. Among the crimes Trump could be accused of are “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud” and “state RICO violations,” the report concludes, an analysis based entirely on publicly available data. Criminal liability could also extend to Trump’s allies who would help Trump’s effort subvert the findings, notes the Brookings Institution, as its former lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The Georgia investigation is not the only active criminal investigation that the 45th president and his inner circle are facing. The DC Attorney General is investigating Trump for incitement to attack at the United States Capitol, while the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is reviewing Trump’s financial reports – an investigation that has already yielded numerous allegations against the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, with further allegations potentially on the way.

As my colleague Bess Levin recently noted, Raffensperger, a Republican, supported the potential case against the former president last week with the release of his new book. “I felt then – and I still believe today – that this was a threat,” he wrote of Trump’s call asking him to “get” more votes. “For the office of the secretary of state, ‘recalculating’ would mean that we should somehow falsify the numbers. The president was asking me to do something that I knew was wrong and I wouldn’t do it. ”Raffensperger he said he would “Participate gladly” in an interview with Fulton County prosecutors investigating Trump’s alleged election meddling.

Worsening the potential case against Trump is Trump himself, the Times notes, adding comments on his conduct in Georgia. At a rally in the state in September, the former president reminded the crowd of what he called Kemp about Georgia’s “big problem of electoral integrity” and asked him to “help us and hold special elections.” Norman Eisen, one of the authors of the Brookings Institution report, told al Times that, elaborating on his original conversation with Kemp, Trump “offered the prosecution free admissions to the content of that exchange.”

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