Takeaways from Georgia election interference special grand jury report

After months under seal, a report by the Georgia special grand jury that investigated whether any charges should be brought against former President Trump and a throng of co-defendants was released Friday.

The report names 39 individuals whose actions following the 2020 presidential election were investigated over an alleged effort to subvert the state’s election results and keep Trump in the White House.

While only 19 people were ultimately charged, the report offers insight into the sweeping investigation by Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis (D), laying out a roadmap to the 41-count indictment handed up last month. 

Here are five takeaways from the full special grand jury report.

Trump recommendations not unanimous

None of the charging recommendations against Trump were unanimous, the report revealed.

For each of the 10 recommendations to charge the former president, one dissenting vote was recorded; between 17 and 20 jurors voted to recommend indictment each time.

A few abstentions were also recorded for the various votes.

“The Georgia Grand Jury report has just been released,” Trump wrote Friday on Truth Social. “It has ZERO credibility and badly taints Fani Willis and this whole political Witch Hunt.”

Three US senators faced potential charges

The grand jury recommended that a handful of current and former U.S. Senate and state lawmakers face charges, according to the report. However, none of those charging recommendations were ultimately made. 

Charges were recommended for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as part of a “national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” focused on swing states such as Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin. The jurors voted 13-7 to indict Graham. 

Two former Republican U.S. senators from Georgia – Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – were also recommended to be charged as part of that same effort.

Perdue faced additional potential charges as part of the “persistent, repeated communications” to Georgia officials and employees between November 2020 and January 2021, for which jurors voted 16-1 in favor. 

Georgia state Sen. William Ligon (R), who called for a special session to respond to the false fraud claims, also faced charging recommendations that ultimately were not made; the jurors voted 17-1 to indict him. 

The jury also recommended indicting Shawn Still, who became a state senator earlier this year. He was the lone sitting officeholder ultimately charged in the indictment.

And it was recommended that Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, then a state senator, be charged as part of the national effort to overturn the 2020 election results. However, a judge barred Willis from indicting Jones after finding she had a conflict of interest — hosting a fundraiser for Jones’s opponent when he was running for his current office. 

Grand jury pushed for greater use of election laws

The report reveals that the special grand jurors recommended charging Trump under multiple election law provisions.

But Willis did not follow those suggestions, instead charging Trump under more generic criminal statutes.

The recommendations largely came in connection with the infamous Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to help “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election.

The jurors suggested charging Trump with criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with performance of election duties, according to the report.

Instead, Willis charged Trump with soliciting a public officer to violate their oath and making false statements and writings over the call.

She also did not follow the jurors’ recommendation to charge Trump with influencing witnesses based on the conversation.

Some Trump charges not recommended by grand jury

Though Willis didn’t ultimately pursue all of the charges the jurors recommended for Trump, she did go beyond their suggestions.

In the indictment, Trump is accused of committing multiple crimes related to the fake elector scheme, which involved pro-Trump individuals signing documents purporting to be Georgia’s valid presidential electors.

The special grand jury’s report did include a section with charging recommendations for the scheme. 

“With respect to the gathering of Republican electors at the Georgia State Capitol on December 14th, 2020, and the representations made by as well as documents submitted by that body, the Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek indictments of the following persons,” the report states, followed by a list of names.

But that list didn’t include Trump. It also didn’t include Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor.

Nonetheless, Willis brought six charges against both Giuliani and Trump in connection with the scheme. 

The counts include conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to commit false statements and writings.

Not all fake electors named in report 

Only 13 of Georgia’s 16 fake electors — each of whom signed documents falsely claiming Trump won the 2020 presidential election in their state — were named in the report as being recommended for charges in connection with Willis’s probe. 

The three alternate electors missing from the report are Ken Carroll, former assistant secretary for the Georgia Republican Party; David Hanna, founder and ex-CEO of an Atlanta-based financial holding company; and Daryl Moody, a longtime GOP donor and former chairman of the Georgia Republican Foundation. 

It’s unclear at this time why the three fake electors were left off the list of potential individuals to charge. 

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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