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Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Perjury Indictments in Trump Election Meddling Probe

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
  • A Georgia grand jury said one or more witnesses in a criminal probe of former President Donald Trump may have lied under oath while testifying.
  • The panel recommeded that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis pursue indictments for perjury in those cases.
  • The grand jury, which investigated Trump for possibly illegal meddling in the state's 2020 presidential election, said it found no significant fraud in that race, which President Joe Biden won.
  • The section of the report that will reveal if the panel believes that Trump, his lawyers or political allies should be indicted remains under seal.

A Georgia grand jury looking into possible election meddling by former President Donald Trump said "one or more witnesses" may have lied under oath and urged prosecutors to pursue criminal indictments in those cases.

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The special grand jury also found no significant fraud in Georgia's 2020 presidential election won by President Joe Biden, according to portions of the final report on its monthslong investigation unsealed Thursday.

The grand jury was impaneled in May to investigate whether Trump, his lawyers and political allies committed any crimes in pressuring state officials to overturn the election in his favor, but Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney withheld those conclusions until prosecutors are ready to release the full report at a later time.

The panel was looking at, among other things, a Jan. 2, 2021, call in which Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes," which is what the former president would have needed to win the state and its 16 Electoral College votes.

Raffensperger refused to comply with Trump's request.

Trump's campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, said in a statement to NBC News that the former president "did absolutely nothing wrong." He added, "The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do." 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will determine whether to charge Trump or anyone else in the case.

"A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it," the report said. "The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling."

The grand jury voted unanimously in concluding that "no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election," according to the report.

In the few pages that were unsealed Thursday, the grand jury said it received evidence involving more than 75 witnesses, most of which was delivered in person and under oath.

The report noted that the panel's extensive witness list included poll workers, investigators, technical experts and state officials, as well as "persons still claiming that such fraud took place."

One of those witnesses, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told NBC later Thursday that he is "very confident" in the testimony he provided to the grand jury. Graham's calls to top election officials in Georgia after the 2020 election became an area of interest in Willis' probe.

"I have no idea what they're going to do, I'll just leave it up to them," Graham said, adding that he is confident he did not perjure himself.

The grand jury had 23 members and three alternates.

The Fulton County court in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
Dustin Chambers | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Fulton County court in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.

McBurney on Monday approved the disclosure of three portions of the final report because they do not identify any witnesses.

But he decided that disclosure of the entire report "at this time is not proper," citing due process concerns.

Georgia was one of several key swing states that gave Democratic nominee Biden his margin of victory in the Electoral College over Republican Trump.

Trump after Election Day falsely claimed that he had won the popular election both nationally and in the swing states, arguing that he was denied victory in the Electoral College because of widespread ballot fraud. He said the election had been "rigged" against him, citing a plethora of unfounded conspiracy theories.

Multiple lawsuits filed in late 2020 by Trump's campaign seeking to overturn state election results were almost entirely rejected in the courts.

After Raffensperger, who is Georgia's top election official, refused Trump's request to find him enough votes to reverse his loss, the stage was set for Congress to confirm the results of the Electoral College on Jan. 6, 2021.

But on that day, a violent crowd of Trump's supporters, spurred by his false election claims, invaded the U.S. Capitol, causing lawmakers to flee for safety. Hours later, after the mob left the complex, a joint session of Congress confirmed Biden's victory in the election.

Trump was impeached in the House on a charge of fomenting the riot, but later was acquitted in the Senate.

Willis, the Fulton County DA, in February 2021 opened a criminal investigation into Trump's call to Raffensperger.

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