A judge in Georgia on Thursday released parts of a report from a special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 election.
Although Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered the disclosure of three sections, most of the report remains concealed, including portions that recommend specific individuals be indicted.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the 2020 election investigation, may soon use the findings to pursue charges by impaneling a separate, regular grand jury.
Sections unsealed on Thursday included the introduction and conclusion. A third section talked about the concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony to the grand jury.
“A majority” of the special grand jury believes perjury was committed by one or more witnesses, and the panel recommends the district attorney “seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling,” the report says.
Seventy-five witnesses either testified before the special grand jury of Fulton County residents or were otherwise involved in it. “The overwhelming majority” of the evidence was given under oath, the grand jury report says.
The special grand jury also makes a determination about election fraud after hearing “extensive” testimony on the subject. “We find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election,” the report says.
Willis, a Democrat, argued against the release of the report during a court appearance last month. “We want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and we think for future defendants to be treated fairly, it is not appropriate at this time to have this report released,” Willis said. She also told the judge, “decisions are imminent.”
During that hearing in January, McBurney was listening to arguments on whether the report is a presentment and is therefore required to be released under Georgia law because the grand jurors recommended their findings be publicized.
A group of media organizations made the case for its release, calling the inquiry a “matter of profound public interest that goes to the heart of the nation’s democratic forms of government.”
When the judge ordered the partial release of the report earlier this week, he said that “while publication may not be convenient for the pacing of the District Attorney’s investigation, the compelling public interest in these proceedings and the questionable value and importance of transparency require their release.”
The special grand jury, which had the authority to subpoena witnesses and documents but not to issue indictments, was impaneled at the behest of Willis in May 2022 and completed its work in January.
The inquiry has expanded over time to examine election fraud claims made to state lawmakers, an alternate electors scheme, efforts to gain unauthorized access to voting machines, and harassment of election workers, according to CNN.
Several high-profile witnesses testified before the special grand jury, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Trump’s attorneys have said the former president was “never subpoenaed nor asked to come in voluntarily by this grand jury or anyone in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.”
The attorneys, Georgia-based Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg, added, “We can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump.”
Willis began her investigation after a phone call recording surfaced in which Trump pressed Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes, enough to reverse losing the state to now-President Joe Biden, arguing there was widespread voter fraud. Giuliani and a group of 16 Republicans who served as pro-Trump alternate electors have been designated as targets of the district attorney’s investigation, according to CNN.
Trump often defends the phone call as “perfect” and broadly rejects claims of wrongdoing.
The former president is separately under investigation by the federal government. Special counsel Jack Smith has been tasked with overseeing investigations into Trump’s handling of government documents after leaving office and the circumstances leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Trump announced a third campaign for the White House in November.