FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A judge on Thursday released findings from a Georgia special purpose grand jury that looked at whether former President Donald Trump or his allies broke the law trying to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in the state.
The grand jury convened in May 2022 and spent six months reviewing evidence and hearing testimony from 75 witnesses. The group issued its final report last month.
Update 1 p.m. EST Feb. 16: A spokesperson for Trump said in a statement Thursday that the former president “did absolutely nothing wrong” after parts of the Georgia grand jury’s were made public, according to CNN.
In the statement, Steven Cheung noted that the parts of the report that were released “do not even mention President Trump’s name (and) have nothing to do with the President because President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong.”
“The president participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do — in fact, as President, it was President Trump’s Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity,” he said, according to CNN.
Update 11:35 a.m. EST Feb. 16: According to a section of the grand jury report released Thursday, a majority of the panel “believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses” who testified before them.
“The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling,” according to the released sections of the report obtained by WSB-TV.
Update 11:25 a.m. EST Feb. 16: The grand jury found unanimously “that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election,” according to an introduction to the group’s report that was released Thursday.
The grand jury voted on whether they believed fraud took place after hearing “extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud from poll workers, investigators, technical experts, and State of Georgia employees and officials, as well as from persons still claiming that such fraud took place.”
Update 11:15 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney released the introduction and conclusion to the grand jury’s report along with a section that discussed unnamed witnesses who might have lied under oath and an addendum that showed the grand jury recommended the report be published, according to court records obtained by The Washington Post.
Breaking news: Judge releases parts of a Georgia grand jury report on 2020 election interference by Trump and his allies. Read them here. https://t.co/R1P1tGNAB9 pic.twitter.com/1mSfDJy8Mj— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 16, 2023
Original report: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney earlier ordered that parts of the grand jury’s final report — the introduction, the conclusion and a section in which the grand jury discussed unnamed witnesses who might have lied under oath — be made public, WSB-TV reported. He declined to release the rest of the report immediately to protect the rights of people who might still face criminal charges in connection with the investigation, according to Reuters.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Williams earlier asked a judge to block the release of the grand jury’s report, but she told WSB on Monday that she was happy with McBurney’s decision.
“I thought that he listened to the arguments of the state and that his order basically did what we asked. So I’m very pleased with the order,” she said.
Officials launched an investigation into whether Trump attempted to illegally overturn Georgia’s election results in 2021 after he was heard on a recorded phone call telling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” about 12,000 votes — enough to overturn his loss to now-President Joe Biden. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling his call with Raffensberger “A PERFECT PHONE CALL.”
The special grand jury heard testimony from dozens of witnesses over the course of about six months, according to The Associated Press. Among the witnesses was former state Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta, who was in a state Senate subcommittee hearing in late 2020 where Trump’s then-attorney, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that massive voter fraud swayed the state’s election results. Jordan testified for the grand jury about the hearing, WSB reported.
“They asked a lot of questions,” Jordan told the news station. “It was a very diverse group, and you could tell they were really pushing back, too. They weren’t just being spoon-fed stuff.”
Special grand juries in Georgia cannot issue indictments, the AP reported. They can recommend charges be filed, though the decision on whether to move forward with prosecution will be made by Willis, according to WSB.