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Court approves special grand jury for Atlanta district attorney’s Trump election probe

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and former President Donald Trump

Alex Brandon, John Bazemore/AP

  • A group of Georgia judges has approved a special grand jury to help probe Trump’s efforts to pressure state officials.
  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made the request last week.
  • At least one witness had said they would only cooperate with the probe if they were subpoenaed.

A group of Fulton County judges has approved a request for a special grand jury to assist District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation of former President Donald Trump, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday.

Christopher S. Brasher, chief judge of Fulton County Superior Court wrote that the special panel will be formed on May 2 and will remain empaneled for no more than a year, The Journal-Constitution reports. Willis’ special grand jury cannot indict anyone, but will have subpoena power to compel the cooperation of any potential witnesses. 

In a request sent last week, Willis said that a special grand jury was needed to compel some witnesses. She wrote to Brasher that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was among the witnesses who would only come forward if he was served with a subpoena. The special grand jury could now follow through with such action.

Willis also stated that her office had found “reasonable probability” that Georgia’s 2020 elections were subject to “possible criminal disruptions.” In one of the most notable episodes, Trump called Raffensperger and asked him to “find 11,780 votes,” the margin he needed to win Georgia.

Legal experts previously told Insider that Georgia’s probe was the most serious legal exposure Trump faces. Willis is investigating whether Trump broke any laws when he and his allies repeatedly pressured state officials after President Joe Biden narrowly flipped Georgia.

Trump previously lashed out at Willis’ request, calling her investigation a “political witch hunt,” and repeated his long-held defense that his call to Raffensperger was “perfect.”

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