DA's Letter Suggests Charges in Trump Inquiry in August

Fulton County's Fani Willis indicates indictments will be unveiled this summer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2023 1:25 PM CDT
DA Signals When to Expect Charges in 2020 Election Case
Former President Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his legal team in a Manhattan court, April 4, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

A request made by the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, who's spent more than two years investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, has raised speculation that her office is preparing to lay charges in August. In a Thursday letter, Fani Willis asked county judges not to schedule trials and in-person hearings in the two weeks beginning Aug. 7, which will follow a July 31-Aug. 4 conference attended by most judges, and indicated that 70% of her staff would be working remotely on most weekdays between July 31 and Aug. 18, per the New York Times and AP.

The letter did not offer an explanation. However, Willis thanked recipients—a total of 21 county officials, including the chief judge and sheriff—for their "assistance in keeping the Fulton County Judicial Complex safe during this time." In an earlier filing, Willis indicated any indictments in the case would be announced between July 11 and Sept. 1, per the Hill. She also described the need for "heightened security" as the announcement of charges "may provoke a significant public reaction," per the AP. In the Times' view, Thursday's letter suggests Willis "is expecting a grand jury to unseal indictments" during the period indicated.

A special grand jury has recommended charges for more than a dozen people, with Trump likely among them, according to the Times' reporting, though it notes Willis "must now seek approval from a regular grand jury for any charges she plans to bring." The investigation, encompassing testimony from 75 witnesses including former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, has centered on Trump's request that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger "find" more votes for him and on the assembly of 16 Republican electors who cast unauthorized electoral college votes for Trump. (Several of the fake electors agreed to immunity deals.)

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