Trump Claims ‘Total Exoneration’ As Georgia Grand Jury Hints at Future Prosecutions
It was a glass half full, glass half empty day on the Donald Trump prosecution beat. If you were hoping that portions of a report by the Fulton County, Georgia special purpose grand jury investigating 2020 election interference would call to throw the former president in jail, you were bound to be disappointed.
You were also probably not reading the fine print on supervising Judge Robert McBurney’s Monday order mandating the publication of just the introduction and conclusion, as well as a section detailing jurors’ “concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony to the grand jury.” As we noted at the time, District Attorney Fani Willis vowed not to appeal, which is a pretty good indication that nothing in the proposed sections would disturb her ongoing investigation in the least.
But the excerpt released today still contained some tantalizing hints at “recommendations on indictments and relevant statutes.” In fact, the jurors seem so hot to indict wrongdoers that they offer an explicit endorsement of any further crimes the District Attorney might wish to charge in connection with their investigation.
“If this report fails to include any potential violations of referenced statutes that were shown in the investigation, we acknowledge the discretion of the District Attorney to seek indictments where she finds sufficient cause,” they write.
The jurors also made clear that they found some of the witnesses less than fully credible, and they were pretty steamed about it.
“A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” they wrote. “The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”
But most importantly, the panel put to rest any legitimate doubt that the outcome of the election in Georgia was fair.
The Grand Jury heard 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. We find by unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.
Not that it changed many minds among the MAGA faithful. Donald Trump immediately vomited out some nonsense about his “two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia,” and noted that his name didn’t even appear in the “long awaited important sections of the Georgia report.” But then, perhaps remembering Bill Barr’s jujitsu pre-publication spinning of the Mueller Report, Trump raced out another official statement.
Thank you to the Special Grand Jury in the Great State of Georgia for your Patriotism & Courage. Total exoneration. The USA is very proud of you!!!
He’ll be back to screaming about stuffed ballot boxes inside 24 hours, of course. Let’s see how proud he is if and when those recommended indictments drop, shall we?
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.