Georgia prosecutor requests special grand jury in Trump election interference probe

January 24, 2022

A Georgia prosecutor requested a special grand jury on Thursday, January 20, to aid her investigation into possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others, reports NBC News.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sent a letter, obtained by NBC News, to Christopher Brasher, the chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court, asking for a special grand jury to investigate any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections in this state.”

A significant number of witnesses have refused to cooperate without subpoenas requiring their testimony, Willis wrote. A special grand jury would have the power to subpoena witnesses.

Willis cited an NBC-TV “Meet the Press” interview in which Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he would gladly respond to a grand jury summons.

Willis has declined to speak about the specifics of her investigation. In an interview with The Associated Press this month, she confirmed that the scope of the probe includes—but is not limited to:

  • A phone call between Trump and Raffensperger on January 2, 2021;
  • A phone call between Raffensperger and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) in November 2020;
  • The abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on January 4, 2021; and
  • Comments made during legislative committee hearings about the election in December 2020.

Willis said the special grand jury is needed because it could serve a term longer than a normal grand jury term. It would also be able to concentrate on this investigation alone, allowing it to focus on the complex facts and circumstances. And having a special grand jury would mean that the regular seated grand jury would not have to deal with this investigation in addition to its regular duties, she wrote.

In a statement, Trump defended his phone call with Raffensperger, saying it was “perfect.” He also reiterated false claims of election fraud, suggesting that the special grand jury should investigate his claims rather than the phone call.

A spokesperson for Willis said there would be no further statement beyond the contents of the letter at this time.

Research contact: @NBCNews