Exactly one year ago, we reported that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis submitted a request for a special grand jury to be impaneled to decide if former President Donald Trump and his band of Trump-humpers are guilty of interfering in the Georgia 2020 election after the majority of Georgia voters decided Trump shall not get his rust-orange butt-shavings all over the Oval Office furniture for another four years.
From our previous report:
Her request was approved by most of the judges on the Fulton County Superior Court. The scope of Willis’ inquiry includes the call Trump made to the secretary of state after losing Georgia in the 2020 election and a November 2020 call Sen. Lindsey Graham made to Raffensperger to put pressure on him. Willis’ inquiry would also look at former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s false claims in efforts to overturn the election. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also noted that the investigation is digging into an Atlanta-based U.S. Attorney’s “abrupt resignation.”
Well, now, according to AJC, Willis suggested Tuesday that a decision on whether to seek indictments is “imminent,” but she’s not quite ready to reveal to the public what the grand jury recommends to be done about elected officials who tried to peer pressure a fellow Republican to abuse his powers by seeking to overturn a perfectly legal election (allegedly—even though we all know they did that sh*t).
Her comments came at the beginning of a 90-minute hearing in which Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney considered whether and when to release the grand jury’s final report. The document is expected to include the group’s findings and charging recommendations.
Willis and her team argued the report should be kept under seal for now.
“The state understands the media’s inquiry and the world’s interest, but we have to be mindful of protecting future defendants’ rights,” the DA said.
Without commenting on who those future defendants may be, Willis said “decisions are imminent.”
“At this time, in the interest of justice and the rights of not the state, but others, we are asking that the report not be released,” she said.
Predictably, a number of media outlets are unhappy about Willis’ decision to keep everything on the hush until the appropriate time (whenever that is). In fact, the DA’s position on the matter was opposed by what AJC described as “a coalition of more than a dozen media organizations,” which, of course, includes AJC.
“The judicial system time and time again has said when matters are brought to the court system, we are going to require them to be made public because the faith of the public and the court system is much improved by operating in a public way,” said Tom Clyde, an attorney who represents the news outlet.
“There’s enormous public interest in what they have said,” he continued, noting that even the grand jurors themselves want the report published. “And that exists in this state. It exists across the nation. It exists beyond the nation. And we believe the statutory law supports its public release right now.”
Still, McBurney said there “will be no rash decisions” made as to whether the report will remain sealed, though he did appear to note that the Jan. 6 Committee didn’t have these same problems.
More from AJC:
McBurney noted that there is little legal precedent guiding him, since special grand juries are so rare. Pressing the DA’s office, he said the congressional Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol examined many of the same topics as the Fulton special grand jury — and did so in public.
“The January 6th commission seemed to do what it did and DOJ didn’t have to shut down after those referrals came,” he said, referring to the Justice Department, which is conducting its own probe.
At the end of the hearing, McBurney said he had yet to make up his mind about sealing the report. He could alternately decide to redact portions of the document and then release it.
“There will be no rash decisions,” he said, adding that he would post notice about any upcoming decision. “No one’s going to wake up with the court having disclosed the report on the front page of a newspaper.”
Meanwhile, on the same day these arguments were being heard, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to, well, continue lying about losing the election while claiming non-existent “evidence” proves the election was rigged.
“I was protesting a RIGGED & STOLEN Election, which evidence proves it was,” Trump wrote. “I won Georgia by a lot, but only needed a small number of votes from that total number. They cheated in many ways including STUFFING Ballots, ALL CAUGHT LIVE ON TAPE.”
And while none of that is true, a liar is going to lie. We just have to wait and see if he’ll ever be held accountable.