Georgia grand jury picked for possible charges in Trump election case
The Georgia grand jury that will decide whether to charge former President Donald Trump and his allies over their efforts to overturn the 2020 election has been sworn in.
In 2021, Mr Trump called a Georgia election official and urged him to find thousands of votes for him.
No wrongdoing has been admitted by the Republican.
The investigation was launched in early 2021 by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wallis, a Democrat.
In the past, she has hinted that charges would probably be filed in August.
There has been a focus on the January 2021 call between Mr Trump and Georgia’s chief elections officer, Brad Raffensperger, during which he suggested that local officials could “find” over 11,000 votes – enough to give him victory in Georgia.
During the call, Mr Raffensperger replied that Georgia’s results were correct. Mr Trump continued to claim widespread electoral fraud after leaving office.
Currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, Mr Trump continues to deny the 2020 election results, describing the Georgia probe as a “political witch hunt” and describing his conversation with Mr Raffensperger as “perfect.”
A grand jury has already been convened in the Georgia case. Last year, dozens of witnesses were interviewed by the special grand jury, but no charges were brought against anyone.
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It recommended numerous indictments for alleged perjury, but no widespread election fraud was found in Georgia.
Judge overseeing the case said much of the special grand jury’s report was kept from the public so that “potential future defendants” could protect their rights.
There is, however, a brief section unsealed in the report which states that the grand jury believes one or more of the witnesses has committed perjury.
It is not possible to determine which witnesses may have lied under oath in the unsealed portions.
In Fulton County, which includes much of Atlanta and its suburbs, a new grand jury term begins on Tuesday.
One of the 26-member panels is expected to handle the case against Mr Trump and his allies.
District attorney Willis and her team must present their case to one of the grand juries assembled on Tuesday in order to file criminal charges against the former president.
She told local officials that potential indictments could occur between 11 July and 1 September, which corresponds with Fulton County’s latest two-month grand jury term.
Two separate criminal investigations are also being conducted against Mr Trump, which he denies.
As a result of his sexual abuse conviction, he has also been ordered to pay millions of dollars to writer E Jean Carroll.