Special grand jury ordered in Georgia's Trump election interference probe – CBS News

January 27, 2022
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By Graham Kates
/ CBS News
A Georgia district attorney’s request to have a special grand jury impaneled for her investigation into possible interference in the 2020 presidential election by former President Donald Trump has been granted.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked on January 20 for the special grand jury. Her request “was considered and approved by a majority” of the county’s Superior Court judges, according to an order filed Monday by Fulton County’s chief judge.
Willis had written in her request that her investigators had “information indicating a reasonable probability” that the election “was subject to possible criminal disruptions.”
Willis has said in interviews that the investigation includes a January 2, 2021 phone call in which Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, “I just want to find 11,780 votes.” Trump lost the state to Joe Biden by that margin, and the outcome was affirmed by several recounts.
She wrote January 20 that “a significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.” The special grand jury will be able to subpoena witnesses.
Trump said in a January 20 statement that “My phone call to the Secretary of State of Georgia was perfect.”
A special grand jury is unique in that it focuses on just one investigation, and can be impaneled for a longer time than typical grand juries. Willis’s request stated that the special grand jury will have “an investigatory focus appropriate to the complexity of the facts and circumstances involved.”
She noted that it will not have the power to indict, but will be able to recommend criminal prosecutions “as it shall see fit.”
Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBS News Digital. Contact Graham at KatesG@cbsnews.com or grahamkates@protonmail.com
First published on January 24, 2022 / 4:47 PM
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