Fulton DA Fani Willis to announce any Donald Trump indictments this summer
Willis continues alleging Trump attempted to interfere in Georgia’s election, an election that saw Joe Biden become the first Democrat to win Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sent a letter late Monday afternoon to Fulton County law enforcement officials regarding an investigation into former president Donald Trump.
Willis addressed the letter to Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, in which she wrote, “I will be announcing charging decisions resulting from this investigation during Fulton County Superior Court’s fourth term of court, which will begin on July 11, 2023, and conclude on September 1, 2023. Please accept this correspondence as notice to allow you sufficient time to prepare the Sheriff’s Office and coordinate with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure that our law enforcement community is ready to protect the public.”
Last year, Willis opened a criminal investigation “into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.” Willis continues alleging Trump attempted to interfere in Georgia’s election, a contest that saw Joe Biden become the first Democrat to win Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Metro Atlanta defense attorney Joshua Schiffer said the letter implies that Willis plans to bring charges against Trump.
“If this was going to be indictments against lesser-known individuals, I don’t think she would go about the consumption of public resources by announcing this,” Schiffer said. “It wouldn’t be as newsworthy. There’s not going to be throngs of people in the streets over local Georgia politicians or even some of the cabinet or other high advisors to the former president.”
Trump has already become the nation’s first ex-president in history to face criminal charges. Earlier this year, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged the 45th president with alleged hush money payments made to porn actress Stephanie Clifford and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom he feared would go public with claims that they had extramarital sexual encounters with him.
A Manhattan grand jury has been probing Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to the porn actor Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with him years earlier.
A special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May 2022 at Willis’ request. In court filings, she alleged “a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
“The Grand Jury heard extensive testimony on the subject oft 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,” said the partial release of the grand jury report. “We find by unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney decided to release only portions of the grand jury’s findings. Atlanta News First had requested, along with other media organizations, the grand jury’s full report to be made public. Willis had appealed to McBurney to keep the findings closed, but once McBurney’s decision was announced, Willis said she would not appeal his decision.
The Atlanta Police Department released a statement regarding Willis’ letter on Monday:
Willis said the grand jury heard from 75 witnesses. Some of the more notable figures were Gov. Brian Kemp; Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr; Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger; former lieutenant governor Geoff Duncan; former White House official Mark Meadows; former U.S. House speaker and Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich; and Republican South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Trump has accused Willis of conducting a “strictly political witch hunt.” Trump, who announced his 2024 White House candidacy last November, also continues defending his now-famous phone call with Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021.
Last year, 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.”
Raffensperger, along with Gabriel Sterling, the office’s chief operating officer, appeared before the Democrat-led House Select Committee’s nationally televised public hearings. Raffensperger told the committee that the 2020 election went “remarkably smooth,” with average ballot-casting wait times between two to three minutes statewide. “I felt we had a successful election,” he said.
Trump’s indictment adds to his list of firsts in American politics:
- First president to be impeached in the 21st century
- First president to be impeached twice in U.S. history, as well as the first to be acquitted twice;
- First president in the 21st century to be defeated in a re-election bid;
- First Republican president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to be defeated in a re-election bid;
- First modern ex-president to lose a re-election bid and then launch a third bid.
- First ex-president in history to face criminal charges.
- First ex-president in history to face criminal charges while running a White House campaign.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has attacked both Bragg’s and Willis’ investigations. A conviction would not prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.
MORE TRUMP COVERAGE
- Non-disclosure agreement at center of historic Trump indictment
- How could Donald Trump’s Manhattan indictment impact his case in Georgia?
- Atlanta and New York: Two cities, two Donald Trump investigations
- Fulton DA given until May 1 to respond to Trump’s motion to quash report
ANF+ BEYOND THE HEADLINE: Attorney Erica Wilson discusses possible Trump indictment in Fulton County
- All eyes now on Fani Willis’ special grand jury probe into Donald Trump
- Donald Trump legal team trying to quash Fulton special grand jury report
- Trump lawyer ordered to turn over Mar-a-Lago case documents
- AP sources: Manhattan DA postpones Trump grand jury session
- Will Trump be indicted? What we know about the process
- Trump lawyers attack Georgia grand jury and prosecutor
Copyright 2023 WANF. All rights reserved.