Trump wants to block Georgia prosecutors from using evidence in monthslong special grand jury investigation into his election interference
Donald Trump's lawyers asked a judge to quash a report into his election interference in Georgia.
They argued the special grand jury investigating him was unconstitutional and unfair.
Fulton County DA Fani Willis used the jury to examine Trump's efforts to overthrow the election in Georgia.
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump asked a judge in Atlanta to quash the results of a monthslong investigation that examined his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, arguing the process was illegitimate.
In a motion filed to court Monday, Trump's attorneys argue that the state statutes authorizing the special grand jury used by the Fulton County district attorney's office are too vague to be constitutional. They also argued that statements from the prosecutor's office, the jury foreperson, and the judge overseeing the process violated Trump's rights.
"The whole world has watched the process of the [special purpose grand jury] unfold and what they have witnessed was a process that was confusing, flawed and, at times, blatantly unconstitutional," Trump's attorneys Jennifer Little, Marissa Goldberg, and Drew Findling wrote.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched the investigation soon after Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" —enough to reverse his loss in the state to now-President Joe Biden.
Between May of 2022 and January of this year, a special purpose grand jury heard evidence from dozens of witnesses, including Raffensperger, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Court filings indicate that Willis's investigation also covered an effort by Trump's allies to send fake electors to Congress on January 6, 2021, and try to make him president even though he lost the presidential election.
The special purpose grand jury doesn't have the power to bring indictments, but it completed its work with a secret report in January, which makes recommendations for criminal charges. Willis must now decide whether to refer the findings and evidence it collected to an ordinary grand jury, which can bring criminal charges.
In the new filing, Trump's attorneys argue the Georgia statute to authorize the special purpose grand jury have been rarely invoked, and raise unsettled constitutional questions. They argue that, given the vagueness, it didn't have the power to subpoena out-of-state witnesses like Graham. (The US Supreme Court declined to block Graham's attempt to quash his subpoena.)
Trump's attorneys also said that comments jury foreperson Emily Kohrs made on a media tour last month have revealed a "tainted process" for the investigation because she said she was allowed to read media reports while sitting on the jury.
Legal experts and the supervising judge previously said her public statements didn't pose any issues.
"She did not give any names of defendants, which would've been bad. And she did not even mention specific charges that the special purpose grand jury may have referenced in their report as being involved with particular cases," Ronald L. Carlson, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, previously told Insider. "So my thought is, future prosecutions have not been jeopardized by this."
Norm Eisen, a legal ethics expert and co-author of a Brookings Institution report on Willis's investigation, told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that Trump's "judge-shopping" was unlikely to succeed.
"Special grand juries are well and long recognized under Georgia law and so Trump's claim that this one was somehow unconstitutional is going nowhere," Eisen said.
A representative for the Fulton County District Attorney's office declined to comment on the filing.
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