ATLANTA — Sections have been released from a report by a special purpose grand jury investigating possible criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 election.
The grand jury submitted its report in January after eight months of intense investigation into the allegations against former President Donald Trump and his allies.
The grand jurors investigated everything from the now-infamous phone call from Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to the false allegations of voter fraud made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a state Senate subcommittee, to the meeting of false electors inside the state capitol.
“We find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 election that could result in overturning that election,” the report said.
It’s not just the biggest headline from Thursday’s release of the report, but criminal defense attorney Jessica Cino told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that its position in this report could hint at what we don’t see -- possible indictments.
“I think it is telling, it comes right before all of the blacked-out parts on or under seal parts of who’s going to be indicted,” Cino said.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney only allowed select portions of the grand jury report to be released, including a section about potential perjury.
According to the released parts of the report, a majority of the jurors believed perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses and recommended Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis seek appropriate indictments.
“We don’t know exactly who they are pointing the finger at for perjury. But I think it’s almost a public signal of don’t believe everything that anybody who was a witness in this may have said to the press,” Cino said.
According to the final report, we know 26 Fulton County residents heard evidence from 75 witnesses and we know the grand jury made recommendations on indictments, but what those recommendations were in the part of the report remains sealed.
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“Ultimately, District Attorney Willis will make the decision about who to charge who not to charge, what charges to seek and not to charge, and what theories she will pursue if she is going to prosecute,” said Anthony Michael Kreis, constitutional law professor at Georgia State University.
Much of what that special purpose grand jury investigated happened at the state capitol. That is where a group of false GOP electors met back in December 2020.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot attempted to contact several Republican lawmakers following the release of the report Thursday, but they all declined to comment on it pointing out there wasn’t a whole lot of information in it.
A couple of Democratic lawmakers did talk, including one who testified before that grand jury.
State Sen. Elena Parent was one of the 75 witnesses to testify before the special grand jury.
She was inside the December 2020 subcommittee hearing where Rudy Giuliani made a number of false claims of massive voter fraud, claims that the grand jury acknowledged again were not true.
Parent said it was important to her to be truthful in her testimony.
“When I testified before the Fulton County special purpose grand jury, what I tried to do was to do the best of my ability, accurately reflect what happened that I was a part of,” Parent said.
South Carolina Republican US Sen. Lindsey Graham also testified before the grand jury. When asked, he insisted he testified truthfully too.
“You’re confident you’re not one of the people that perjured themselves?” a reporter asked Graham on Capitol Hill Thursday.
“I’m confident I testified openly and honestly,” Graham said.
Democratic state Sen. Josh McLaurin told Elliot that the fact that grand jurors openly worried witnesses lied to them under oath shows how seriously they took it.
“The fact that the grand jury mentions the perjury at all indicates that A.) they cared that what they were hearing was true and B.) somebody had something they were trying to hide,” McLaurin said.
Elliot said he got no comment from Lt. Gov. Burt Jones’ office on Thursday. Jones was one of the fake electors who met in 2020.
Other republicans didn’t want to comment because they felt there was really nothing in this report to comment on.
More than one told Elliot candidly, the report was “a nothing burger.”
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