Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Indictments For More Than a Dozen People in Investigation Into Trump's 2020 Campaign

Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Indictments For More Than a Dozen People in Investigation Into Trump's 2020 Campaign


#Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Indictments For More Than a Dozen People in Investigation Into Trump's 2020 Campaign

On Tuesday, a Georgia grand jury recommended indictments for more than a dozen individuals in connection with an investigation into former President Donald Trump's attempts to reverse his election loss, according to the forewoman of the panel. This is one of the strongest signals yet that his legal prospects may be in jeopardy as he launches yet another presidential campaign.

Forewoman Emily Kohrs: “It’s not a short list”

Last month, the Georgia grand jury that spent seven months investigating whether President Donald Trump and his allies attempted to subvert the state's 2020 election issued its final report. Nevertheless, its forewoman noted Tuesday that these recommendations "are not a short list" and did not identify specific individuals whose crimes may be indicted.

Since Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis convened the special grand jury in May 2018, it has subpoenaed dozens of witnesses. This list includes former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 16 Republicans who voted to certify Trump's election victory and an election data breach in Coffee County.

During their investigation, jurors heard testimony from former Secretary of State Brian Kemp and other election officials. Additionally, they interviewed people associated with Trump's campaign and administration such as Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Lindsey Graham and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

In some instances, witnesses invoked privilege and refused to answer questions. Furthermore, the panel expressed concern about some witnesses who lied under oath during their investigation, according to portions of its report that were released recently.

Kohrs made it clear that the grand jury was able to obtain answers from some witnesses without resorting to privilege. She noted a number of instances in which witnesses were friendly and cooperative, such as former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Kohrs noted that it should come as no shock that a special grand jury recommended charges against some of the witnesses. Many were found guilty of perjury during their depositions.

The panel reportedly discussed a fake elector scheme, threats and harassments against election workers, and an effort by unauthorized individuals to hack into voting machines in the state. But ultimately, there was no proof to back up Trump's assertions that widespread voter fraud cost him Georgia's 16 electoral votes.

Kohrs declined to name any of the potential targets in her interviews with The New York Times, but she assured them that "you shouldn't be shocked" if the grand jury recommends indictments. She noted that these recommendations "are not a short list." This doesn't guarantee Willis will have enough power to convene a traditional grand jury and indict anyone named in the report; nonetheless, Kohrs expressed confidence in her judgment.

Kohrs: “It’s not a surprise”

At the start of last May, Emily Kohrs - a 30-year-old Fulton County, Georgia resident without political affiliation - was waiting for her turn at a grand jury hearing. She never imagined becoming part of one of America's most significant legal proceedings or going through what she would later describe as an excruciating ordeal.

She was appointed to a panel that was charged with investigating President Donald Trump's attempts at meddling in the 2020 election and whether any such efforts had taken place in Georgia. Over seven months, they met in Atlanta and heard testimony from 75 witnesses, including several prominent Trump allies.

Last week, a Georgia judge partially released the report which recommended indictments for over a dozen individuals. Notably, this section included findings by the panel that there was no proof of voter fraud as Trump repeatedly claimed.

Kohrs expressed her certainty that several individuals, such as former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would be charged with crimes. These charges would then be reviewed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis who has the power to indict.

Kohrs noted that several people who initially refused to answer questions became more willing to testify after prosecutors offered them immunity in front of the grand jury. For example, she noted, one witness who initially declined to answer questions changed her mind after being granted immunity in front of the grand jury.

She noted that a witness who initially denied any involvement in the probe became willing to testify after prosecutors asked him to confirm previous statements he made. She applauded her team's work in getting people who had previously declined to testify on the stand to do so.

In January, a judge ordered that the grand jury report be released. Now Willis is reviewing its recommendations and is expected to make charging decisions that could have lasting repercussions throughout the 2024 presidential campaign and beyond.

Kohrs: “It’s not rocket science”

Emily Kohrs, thirty-three years old and unemployed, found herself an integral part of one of America's most significant legal proceedings last May. As she and her fellow jurors descended a staircase into an underground garage beneath an Atlanta courthouse accompanied by heavily armed officers in vans with tinted windows, Emily knew this moment would be monumental.

Months later, she served as a forewoman on a 23-person special grand jury that spent seven months reviewing evidence in an investigation of alleged election interference. They heard testimony from 75 witnesses, many with close ties to President Donald Trump. Last week's report by the jury indicated they believed one or more witnesses committed perjury and recommended local prosecutors bring charges.

Even as the report was being released, prosecutors were still deliberating who to charge. The grand jury was charged with investigating a variety of matters such as an elaborate fake elector scheme and threats against Georgia election workers. Furthermore, it heard testimony from various witnesses who had been granted immunity by prosecutors.

On other matters, however, the grand jury's recommendations remained secret until last Thursday when portions of it were released to the public.

Parts of the report praised the grand jury's work, noting they had uncovered "substantial evidence" of various crimes. Unfortunately, some witnesses they heard from weren't found guilty and others told them lies under oath.

Despite the report's glowing endorsement, prosecutors have yet to file charges against Trump who did not appear as a witness and whose attorneys maintain he hasn't engaged in criminal activity. In addition to the grand jury investigation, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith is conducting two federal criminal investigations involving Trump.

On Tuesday, Kohrs gave a stronger indication that former President Trump will be indicted in the Georgia probe than she previously hinted at. She told the Times that the list of names recommended by the grand jury was "not a short list," though she declined to say whether that included Mr. Trump due to orders from the judge who presided over the grand jury. She added that before disclosing any specifics about potential indictments she must speak with the forewoman of the grand jury.

Kohrs: “You’re not going to be shocked”

When Kohrs accepted her role as forewoman of a grand jury in Georgia, she was eager to get started. She knew there would be much learning involved but also enjoyed using her political knowledge on something close to her heart - the issue of women's rights.

Kohrs was appointed to serve as forewoman of the grand jury that investigated potential election fraud and perjury in Georgia. Although she had experience working in customer service and retail, her longtime interest in politics led her to serve on this panel.

She had a passion for justice and understood what it meant to be part of an investigation, she said. Though uncertain if she would enjoy it, she believed it necessary in order to protect citizens from potentially corrupt individuals involved in political scandals.

Over the course of her two-year service on the grand jury, she and her fellow jurors had an up-close view of a wide array of witnesses from all sides of the Trump-Russia controversy. These included former White House aides, former government officials and others involved in the campaign.

One thing she noticed was how friendly and open some witnesses, such as a former Dominion Voting Systems executive who gave an explanation on Georgia's voting machines, were to answering questions. She was particularly taken by Cassidy Hutchinson - a former White House aide whom she said was much more approachable than her old boss Mark Meadows.

Some witnesses used privilege to avoid answering certain questions, while others seemed genuinely contemplating their answers and whether they could offer something helpful to the jury. Rudy Giuliani - famous for his comedic nature and use of privilege when asked questions - "genuinely seemed to be thinking about not answering every one," according to CNN. "He definitely seemed aware that he couldn't answer every one," she added.

But the grand jury was also charged with keeping evidence confidential. Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over the grand jury proceedings, ordered parts of their report not released to the public until Willis decides to charge individuals for crimes they uncovered; an announcement is expected shortly.

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