Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis has been granted permission to seat a special grand jury this spring to aid her office’s investigation into former President Trump’s alleged meddling in the state’s 2020 election results, CNN reported on Monday.
Willis made the request last week writing in a letter to the court that the move was necessary for “investigating the facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 elections in the State of Georgia.”
Willis has been unable to interview several witnesses, she noted, as they have refused to cooperate unless issued subpoenas. A grand jury has the power to subpoena witnesses, and to recommend criminal prosecutions. She added in her letter that a grand jury is necessary because it can be impaneled for as long as it takes for the investigation to run its course, and that the grand jury would be tasked with focusing on this matter alone.
Trump responded to the Willis’ request last week with a lengthy statement calling the investigation a “political witch hunt.”
President Donald J. Trump:
"My phone call to the Secretary of State of Georgia was perfect, perhaps even more so than my call with the Ukrainian President, if that’s possible. I knew there were large numbers of people on the line, including numerous lawyers for both… pic.twitter.com/TCMZnzkX5L
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) January 20, 2022
The criminal investigation was launched a few weeks after Trump told Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to swing the election in his favor. Trump didn’t “reportedly” ask Raffensperger to rig the election in his favor — it’s on tape. “The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” he added. “Because we won the state.”
Willis is also scrutinizing is a Nov. 2020 phone call between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the secretary of state, in which Graham asked him if he could toss out mail-in ballots in certain counties, according to Raffensberger. She’s also examining the sudden resignation of U.S. Attorney Byung Pak a day after an audio recording in which Trump called him a “never-Trumper” was made public.