Atlanta News First requests public release of special grand jury report
The report, finalized on Jan. 9, was the result of an investigation into possible interference in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Atlanta News First is joining media organizations from Georgia, and across the country, to request the public release of the final Fulton County Special Grand Jury report on possible election interference in the state’s 2020 presidential election.
WATCH LIVE: Hearing over release of special grand jury report
The report, which was finalized on Jan. 9, was the result of an eight-month investigation into possible interference in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
Several high profile current and former members of the state and federal government testified privately with their accounts of what happened during Georgia’s 2020 election process, which included allegations of election fraud - and most notably then-President Donald Trump - calling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to find enough votes to reverse his election defeat.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversaw the panel, wrote in a two-page order that the special grand jury recommended its report be made public.
A Tuesday hearing is scheduled to determine whether all or part of the report should be released.
“On the morning of Wednesday, November 4, 2020 – the day after Georgia citizens had finished casting their votes in the 2020 Presidential Election – the focus of the nation turned to Georgia,” the brief’s introduction said. “As poll workers continued to tabulate votes, it became clear that, by the narrowest margins, the voting results in Georgia and a small group of other states would determine the outcome of the Presidential election. In the days and weeks that followed, enormous controversy and confusion descended on the State.
“Without credible evidence, an array of public officials, paid advocates, and private citizens spread allegations that voting fraud had been rampant in Georgia. The claims of fraud were aimed with particular force at Fulton County where, for example, routine video of vote counting at a tabulating center was mischaracterized as illegal ballot stuffing using a ‘suitcase’ of fake ballots.
“As pressure mounted in the weeks that followed, then-sitting President Donald J. Trump made a recorded telephone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State asking for the assistance of the Secretary’s Office to “find” more than 11,000 votes. These and many other events from the post-election time-period have raised serious questions about whether the State’s election system was subjected to a premeditated attempt to distort the results of the Presidential election.
“This question has been one of enormous public interest not just to Georgians, but also to citizens throughout the United States. The scale and scope of news organizations filing this brief reflect the profound public interest in this issue.”
Trump has accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of conducting a “strictly political witch hunt” as she pursues an investigation into alleged election interfering in the 2020 presidential vote count.
Last year, Willis opened a criminal investigation “into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.” A special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May at her request. In court filings last month, she alleged “a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Trump also has defended his now-famous phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger a few days after the last presidential election.
Back in June, Raffensperger told a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that Trump’s claims of 2020 election fraud “were false.”
Georgia’s secretary of state, along with Gabriel Sterling, the office’s chief operating officer, appeared before the Democrat-led House Select Committee when the commission resumed its round of nationally televised public hearings.
Raffensperger told the committee the Nov. 6, 2020, election went “remarkably smooth,” with average ballot-casting wait times between two to three minutes statewide.
“I felt we had a successful election,” Raffensperger said.
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