TWO grand juries have met in Georgia to investigate whether Trump attempted to manipulate the election
Two grand juries have been convened in Georgia to investigate whether Donald Trump has attempted to manipulate the general election.
Jurors in the secret proceeding should be asked to subpoena documents and recordings for the investigation “ in the very near future, ” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said. The Daily Beast
Three cases have been referred to Fani Willis’s office by the secretary of state – including to investigate the infamous telephone conversation in which Trump told Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to “ find ” 11,780 votes.
She has assembled a team of investigators, including a former deputy sheriff with nearly 30 years of experience and a lawyer who has written a national guide to prosecuting RICO charges against the mafia.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, left during the prosecution at a hearing in Atlanta in 2013
Three cases have been referred by the Secretary of State to Willis’s office – including to investigate the infamous telephone conversation in which Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “ find ” 11,780 votes (photo, Trump in the Oval Office in August, 2018)
The prosecutor, who was elected in January, is well aware that she is dealing with the most prominent potential defendant in Trump – whose team of lawyers will attack every charge to the letter.
‘My philosophy is simply: we are going to call balls and strikes. And it is what it is, ‘Willis told The Daily Beast. “We’re just going to use the law and the facts. I’m not going to worry about the politics of that. And I understand what I’m saying. If that means I’m the prosecutor for only one term … then that’s what God is making me do for these four years. ‘
The prosecutor, who was elected in January, has overhauled the county’s ‘public integrity unit’ – which investigates traditional police misconduct – with a new anti-corruption team.
She kept only one member of the former team, researcher Raymond Baez, who interviewed to keep his job.
Baez convinced Willis that he had become furious with the corrupt police during his childhood in Puerto Rico.
Former police officer Sonya Allen serves as Willis’s right-hand man.
Allen worked at Cobb County Sheriff’s Office for nearly three decades, working on the narcotics and fugitive units.
Willis decided she was fit for the job because of her investigation into how Brian Nichols, a man on trial for rape, escaped custody and murdered the judge presiding over his case.
She also hires a lawyer who has made his career defending public officials accused of crimes, Brian Watkins, who is named as the deputy for anti-corruption.
‘We have examined him enormously. “He didn’t have any spots,” Willis said.
She also tapped a young lawyer from the complex litigation department, Sau Chun Chan, who had only been qualified to practice law in Georgia two years ago.
“I need to expand the unit … electoral fraud has never been looked into,” Willis said.
She also brought in John E. Floyd, an expert on RICO indictments, who wrote a national guide to prosecuting state extortion cases.
He will consult the team on how they could prove a pattern of corruption – in the same way that mafia bosses are linked to the actions of their henchmen.
In letters sent to state officials last month requesting to preserve evidence for her investigation into possible attempts to influence last year’s election, Willis cited extortion as one of the possible violations of Georgian law she was investigating. .
Floyd previously helped Willis when she used the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law to prosecute nearly three dozen Atlanta public school teachers charged with a false scandal.
Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis spoke to Rachel Maddow about her investigation earlier this year
In April 2015, after a trial that lasted months, a jury convicted 11 former teachers of extortion for their role in a plan to increase student scores on standardized exams.
Willis was a lead prosecutor on the case while working for her predecessor, former Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard.
Floyd will remain employed by Bondurant Mixson & Elmore law firm in Atlanta and will be available to assist Willis as needed.
Willis’s office has confirmed that the investigation into possible attempts to influence the election includes a Jan. 2 phone call in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “ find ” enough votes to support Joe Biden’s victory in the state. to undo.
Willis has also said she has questions about a phone call from US Senator Lindsey Graham to Raffensperger, the sudden departure of a federal prosecutor, and statements before Georgia legislative committees.
She wrote in letters to state officials on February 10 that her office had opened a criminal investigation into “ possible violations of the Georgian law prohibiting calls for electoral fraud, making false statements to state and local government agencies, conspiracy, extortion, violation of the law. oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats in connection with election administration. ‘
She wrote that her team “has no reason to believe that a Georgian official is the target of this investigation.”
Also on Wednesday, Common Cause, a government accountability watchdog group, called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether Trump and others have violated federal laws by communicating with officials in Georgia “ in an attempt to fraudulently and corrupt the United States. results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. said a letter to Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine in Atlanta and Merrick Garland, who was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday to serve as U.S. Attorney General.