Thursday, January 20, 2022

Another Grand Jury Investigating trump: Georgia On My Mind Edition (w/ Update)

Kind of breaking news: Remember when Loser of the Popular Vote (Twice) donald trump called the Georgia Secretary of State to intimidate him into "finding" 11,780 votes that trump could use to overturn Biden's election results in that state?

Welp. In the latest stage of the criminal investigation, the county DA in charge of things is asking the judge for a special grand jury to compel testimony. Via Tamar Hallerman at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In a Thursday letter to Christopher S. Brasher, chief judge of Fulton County’s Superior Court, Willis said the move was needed because a “significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.”

She cited comments Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger made during an October 2021 interview with NBC News, in which he said “if (Willis) wants to interview me, there’s a process for that.”

Raffensperger is a loyal Republican. He won't willingly spill the beans unless legally compelled to do so. It wouldn't be surprising if he or any other potential witnesses delay this stage of the investigation, but this IS a serious turn of events for trump. Back to Hallerman:

Willis’ probe, launched in February, is centered on the Jan. 2 phone call Trump placed to Raffensperger, in which he urged the Republican to “find” the 11,780 votes to reverse Joe Biden’s win in Georgia in November 2020. But it could also include other actions from Trump’s allies who sowed doubts about the election results, including testimony his attorney Rudy Giuliani gave at a state legislative hearing.

In her letter to Brasher, Willis said the DA’s 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.”

Special grand juries, which typically have 16 to 23 members, can’t issue indictments. But they can subpoena witnesses, compel the production of documents and information, and enter into certain offices for the purposes of an investigation...

Those criminal disruptions Willis alleges revolve around election fraud and election interference, which at the state level would mean a minimum of one year in jail on either count if found guilty.

This would be the third criminal probe currently ongoing into trump's various misdeeds, with the one investigating tax and financial fraud in New York and the federal investigations into the January 6th insurrection. 

There is a substantial amount of documented evidence of what trump attempted to do. What's needed here is the testimony of those involved: I'm not a legal expert but I think it has something to do with proving trump's intent to coerce others to commit these acts.

According to Hallerman's article, DA Willis is hoping to get this done in the first half of this year (meaning wrapping up the grand jury by July). With luck, it'll happen on the same day they bring out criminal charges in New York and criminal charges in D.C.

trump attempted to subvert a legal election. trump keeps lying about "stolen votes" he can't prove in any court of law.

Someone needs to arrest trump, drag him to the courtroom, put him under oath and see if he keeps lying then about something he didn't win. Make him confront the facts that there was no mass fraud, there were no stolen votes, that he IS the damn loser he keeps denying to himself. This case is the best possible way to do that.

Hold trump and the Republicans aiding him accountable for the Big Lie he keeps spewing.

The future of America depends on it.

(Update 1/22): David French at the Atlantic (possible paywall) spells out how this could be serious trouble for trump:

But the question remains: Were Trump’s attempts to reverse the outcome in Georgia (and nationally) criminal? There is compelling evidence that they were, under both Georgia state law and federal criminal statutes.

Perhaps the best guide to why is a Brookings Institution report, published in October, that assessed Trump’s actions in light of Georgia criminal law. Among the seven lawyers and scholars who wrote the report was Gwen Keyes Fleming, an experienced former Georgia prosecutor and the former DeKalb County district attorney. The report concluded that “Trump’s post-election conduct in Georgia leaves him at substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes.” The crimes include “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud” and “conspiracy to commit election fraud,” among others.

I highlight those two statutes because they most plainly apply on their face. Georgia’s conspiracy-to-commit-election-fraud statute makes it a crime when one “conspires or agrees with another” to violate Georgia’s election laws and, crucially, states that “the crime shall be complete when the conspiracy or agreement is effected and an overt act in furtherance thereof has been committed, regardless of whether the violation of this chapter is consummated.” In other words, the scheme does not have to succeed to be criminal...

The Georgia investigation is a consequential victory for the rule of law in this country. Its very existence signals that no man or woman is above the law, a concept foundational to the American experiment. When you walk through the evidence of Trump’s brazen effort to bully, threaten, and command subordinates and state officials to steal an election, his actions quite obviously demand a close criminal inquiry...

The questions also still remaining: How soon will trump be charged with violating those state laws, and how badly will Republicans respond to their false god getting handcuffed?

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

In her letter to the chief judge, Ms. Willis noted that her office was the only one with jurisdiction that wasn't either a witness to or a target of the scheme she's investigating.

-Doug in Sugar Pine