Georgia prosecutors ordered to respond to Trump's effort to quash grand jury report
By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Georgia prosecutors have until May 1 to respond to former President Donald Trump's effort to quash a grand jury's final report into his alleged attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat in the U.S. state.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over the grand jury investigation, issued the order on Monday, two months after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said decisions on whether to charge Trump were "imminent."
Last week Trump filed a motion to quash the final report, excerpts of which were made public. The motion also sought to disqualify Willis' office from further probing the alleged interference.
According to the excerpts, the grand jury concluded there was no widespread fraud, despite Trump's claims the vote was rigged against him. It made recommendations to prosecutors on possible indictments for election interference, but none of these was made public.
In recordings of a January 2021 call made public, Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state." Trump denies any wrongdoing.
"The District Attorney's Office is ordered to file a response to the motion no later than 1 May 2023," Judge McBurney said in the order filed on Monday.
Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, faces multiple legal woes.
The special grand jury in this case, unlike a regular grand jury, was not empowered to issue indictments, only to make recommendations. Any decision to press charges rests with Willis.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Howard Goller)