A Georgia state judge on Tuesday will hear arguments on whether to release a report drafted by a grand jury into President Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election result in that state.
The grand jury, which investigated the election subversion effort for one year, was dissolved two weeks ago.
By then, grand jurors had issued subpoenas and obtained interviews with a series of high-profile Republican witnesses — and some alleged participants — in Trump’s efforts. Those included Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), Gov. Brian Kemp (R), and others.
The result was a lengthy report into the attempt that remains under seal from public eyes. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can use the report’s recommendations to make a decision on whether to file charges in the matter.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney scheduled a hearing for Tuesday for arguments on whether segments of the report should be released to the public. The grand jury’s own recommendation is that they should be made public.
Some of those interviewed — like Giuliani — were informed during the course of the investigation that they were also considered targets of the probe. In keeping with many of his other public stances on matters potentially embarrassing to himself and those around him, Giuliani is expected to argue to keep the report under seal.
But Willis, whose charging decisions remain unknown, could argue for segments of the report to be made available to the public. A coalition of media organizations has also petitioned McBurney to release as much of the report as possible.
The grand jury, court documents show, has focused intently on the element of the election subversion effort known as the fake electors scheme.
The plot saw attorneys working for Trump advise local GOP officials across the country to proceed as if Joe Biden had lost in several key states that he, in fact, had won — a fact that was well known by the time the plan was set in motion. These officials were to go forward with creating slates of pro-Trump electors, which would then go on to Congress and potentially provide a way for state legislators, state officials, Mike Pence, the Supreme Court, or whoever possible to certify them as the real, legitimate electors, thereby assuring Trump’s victory.
It was a harebrained plan, but one that, legal experts have told TPM, may have involved lying to federal officials. The grand jury has interviewed multiple people associated with the effort, and issued a subpoena last year to Kenneth Chesebro, a Trump attorney who helped design the plan.
Attorneys for Trump said on Monday that they would not attend the Tuesday hearing. A clerk for McBurney told TPM that it will be livestreamed on the judge’s YouTube channel.
If Willis chooses to indict Trump based on the report, it will be the first example of a former president ever being charged with a crime.