At the conclusion of a hearing on Tuesday, Fulton County, Ga., Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said he would consider the arguments from attorneys as to whether he would allow the release of a report from a grand jury investigating interference by Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
ROBERT MCBURNEY: Well, I want to thank both sides for being prepared and having these thoughtful presentations. This is not simple. I think the fact that we had to discuss this for 90 minutes shows that it is somewhat extraordinary, Mr. Klein. Partly what's extraordinary is what's at issue here, the alleged interference with the presidential election. But it's also extraordinary in the plain meaning of that word, is that it's not ordinary to have special-purpose grand juries doing things.
That doesn't mean, however, that there hasn't been a course of conduct developed over time as to what happens with special-purpose grand jury reports or presentments. It also doesn't mean that we can't-- I can't figure out a way to assess the final report through the lens of grand jury secrecy and the statutory scheme for grand juries, as well as viewing it through the lens of Rule 21 to decide if it falls within the reach and scope of Rule 21. And that's what I'll need to do.
My proposal is that I think about this a little bit and then contact both groups, the district attorney's office and the interveners, if I've got specific questions for which I'd like more input. And then you're welcome to file something or provide an email that these are the cases you should look at.
I won't dictate the format in which you respond. I will be sure, if I have questions, even though they may be for one side and not the other-- I won't say side-- one group and not the other, they go out to both groups, because I may have a question for Mr. Klein and Ms. Gaither, but Ms. Willis, your team may want to be heard on that question, even though it is poking more at the media's position.
As I said early on, there'll be no rash decisions. There's not going to be an order that pops out with no notice and attached to it is the report. There'll be an order, if there's going to be disclosure, that perhaps says this is when it would happen so that both sides have a chance to react and take whatever steps they'd want to take in light of an order that says this is going to happen a little ways down the line.
So no one's going to wake up with the court having disclosed the report on the front page of a newspaper. The report, of course, exists in the district attorney's control, so if it does show up, folks will need to work through that. But I will circle back and we'll figure out the best way to move forward with this.