Parts of a report from a Georgia special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 election are set to be released this week.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered three sections to be disclosed on Thursday, including the introduction, conclusion, and a section in which the panel “discusses its concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony to the grand jury.”
Most of the report will remain concealed, including portions that recommend specific individuals be indicted, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the 2020 election investigation, 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.”
Fulton County DA Fani Willis, “We are asking that the report not be released because you haven’t seen that report. Decisions are imminent.” pic.twitter.com/tsABRDlFyk
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 24, 2023
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.”
The judge noted in his order on Monday 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 roughly two weeks ago. Willis may use the findings to pursue charges by impaneling a separate, regular grand jury.
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.
Willis, a Democrat, 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 call as “perfect” and broadly rejects claims of wrongdoing. “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,” his attorneys said last month.
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.