A prosecutor in the state of Georgia has hinted that charges could possibly be brought as part of an investigation into electoral subversion that began two years ago. And while Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis did not mention Donald Trump or his allies by name, it is the first time that a prosecutor in any of several ongoing investigations tied to the former Republican president has hinted that charges could be brought.
In trying to prevent the release of a special grand jury report, Willis argued in court last week that decisions in the case were "imminent" and that release of the report could jeopardize the rights of "future defendants." ”.
The Democratic prosecutor's remarks raised anticipation that an investigation centered, in part, on Trump's call to the Georgia secretary of state could wrap up ahead of ongoing federal investigations.
“I hope to see indictments in Fulton County before I see federal indictments,” said Clark Cunningham, a Georgia State University law professor.
In addition to the Georgia investigation, a special counsel from the Justice Department is investigating Trump for his role in working with allies to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election and his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
The most pressing legal risk for Trump is precisely the investigation he faces after the discovery of confidential material at his residence in Florida. But that case looks complicated, politically at least, after classified files were also found at President Joe Biden's home in Delaware and at his Washington office. The Justice Department appointed special prosecutors to investigate both matters.
Willis opened the investigation after a January 2, 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was released. In that conversation, the then-president suggested to Raffensperger, a Republican, "find" the votes needed to overturn Trump's narrow electoral loss in the state to Biden, a Democrat.
“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said on the call.
Since then, the scope of the investigation has expanded to include, among other things: a list of fake Republican voters, phone calls by Trump and others to Georgia officials in the weeks after the 2020 election, and unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud. widespread.
In an interview, Trump insisted that he did "absolutely nothing wrong" and that his phone call with Raffensperger was "perfect." He said he felt "very confident" that he would not be charged.