Special grand jury approved in Georgia prosecutor's Trump election investigation

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Donald Trump.
Donald Trump. Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' request for a special grand jury in her investigation of former President Donald Trump and efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results has been granted.

In a letter sent last week, Willis asked Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher for the special grand jury, saying her office has "received information indicating a reasonable probability that the state of Georgia's administration of elections in 2020, including the state's election of the president of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions."

On Monday, Brasher wrote in response that a majority of judges on Fulton County's Superior Court bench agreed to the request. The special grand jury will be impaneled May 2 and "shall be authorized to investigate any and all facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to alleged violations of the laws of the state of Georgia." The jury can continue for a period "not to exceed 12 months," Brasher said.

During an interview with The Associated Press earlier this month, Willis confirmed that her investigation is centered on the phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Jan. 2, 2021. During that conversation, Trump encouraged Raffensperger to "find" the 11,780 votes needed to reverse President Biden's win in the state.

A special grand jury focuses on one topic, can be seated for more than two months, and can subpoena witnesses, but cannot issue indictments. Willis wrote in her letter to Brasher that a special grand jury was essential in her investigation because a "significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony." She said Raffensperger was one of those witnesses; he responded by saying he's been cooperative and will "follow the law and come before a grand jury and testify."

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