Washington, Jan 24 (EFE).- A United States county court Monday allowed a special grand jury to help investigate whether former President Donald Trump and others committed crimes by pressuring politicians from the state of Georgia in relation to the 2020 election results.
The judges of the Fulton County Superior Court approved a petition from prosecutor Fani T. Willis, who has been investigating Trump’s possible interference in the 2020 presidential elections, for almost a year.
“The special grand jury shall be authorized to investigate all facts and circumstances directly or indirectly related to alleged violations of the laws of the State of Georgia,” Chief Justice Christopher S. Brasher said.
That jury will begin working on May 2 and continue for a period “not to exceed 12 months,” Brasher added in the document, obtained by the local newspaper “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.”
The prosecutor had requested this tool last week to advance her investigation, after denouncing that although her department has made numerous efforts to collect evidence and question witnesses, it has also encountered numerous resistances.
His investigation focuses in part on the call that Trump made in January 2021 to Georgia State Secretary Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find” thousands of republican votes in the state.
In the conversation, published by The Washington Post, Trump first praised the state secretary, then asked him to act and, following his refusal, threatened to file criminal charges against him.
According to the prosecutor, Raffensperger has refused to testify without a subpoena despite being an “essential” witness, though he has said he will answer if he is subpoenaed by a grand jury.
That led Willis to request that this type of grand jury be formed, which will help his office investigate “the facts and circumstances related to possible attempts to interfere” in the “legitimate” holding of the 2020 elections in Georgia, including presidential elections.
In Georgia and other US states, special grand juries cannot issue criminal indictments, but do have the power to subpoena witnesses and transfer documents in a secret process.
The jury – of between 16 and 23 people – then issues a report with its conclusions and recommends measures, leaving prosecutors to decide whether to accuse or not, for which they would need to present evidence to another grand jury. EFE