'Target' Letters Sent to Trump Allies by Fulton County DA

Ga.'s Fani Willis mulls subpoenaing Trump himself to testify before grand jury in 2020 election probe
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 16, 2022 6:00 AM CDT
'Target' Letters Sent to Trump Allies by Fulton County DA
Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is seen in her office in Atlanta on Jan. 4.   (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

The Georgia prosecutor investigating potential criminal interference in the 2020 presidential election is considering requesting that former President Donald Trump testify under oath to a grand jury, while several Georgia Republicans already subpoenaed as part of the probe have received letters informing them they're at risk of being indicted. The developments underscore the accelerating nature of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' investigation and the key decisions that may lie ahead for prosecutors, who for more than a year have been scrutinizing efforts by Trump and his allies to undo his election loss in Georgia. Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Willis, tells the AP that Willis is considering subpoenaing Trump to testify before a special grand jury.

Such a demand would almost certainly trigger an immediate court fight, including potentially over Trump's constitutional protections against self-incrimination. Yahoo News had reported earlier Friday that Willis is considering requesting Trump’s testimony. Meanwhile, some people who'd been subpoenaed have subsequently received so-called target letters, a source notes. Prosecutors generally issue such letters to inform people they've been investigating that they've developed evidence against them and that they're in jeopardy of being criminally charged. The person who confirmed the issuance of the letters, first reported by Yahoo, wouldn't ID any of the recipients. The AP notes that Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are among the Trump associates Willis is trying to force to go to Atlanta to testify before the special grand jury.

Randy Evans, a Georgia attorney who was Trump's ambassador to Luxembourg, said the letters went to prominent Georgia GOPers who were involved with submitting an alternate slate of electors asserting that Trump had won the state. The special grand jury was seated in May at Willis' request and has been investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to meddle in the 2020 election in Georgia as Trump tried to cling to power after his loss to Joe Biden. Trump continues to insist the election was stolen, despite the fact that numerous federal and local officials, a long list of courts, top former campaign staffers, and his own attorney general have all said there's no evidence of such fraud. The special grand jury can't issue indictments. Instead, it's to issue a report with its findings and recommendations, and it will then be up to Willis to decide whether to seek an indictment from a regular grand jury.

(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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