Fulton special grand jury recommended 39 indictments
A criminal grand jury in Fulton County issued a 41-count racketeering indictment against 19 individuals in August. The indictment relied on testimony and information partially gathered by the special purpose grand jury. A report summarizing that special purpose grand jury’s investigation was released Friday after Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over the panel, ordered that it be made public.
While the group’s report was intended to serve as an advisory document for Fulton D.A. Fani Willis, the jurors expressed a desire for its public release. That report was released last week and revealed that the jurors were nearly unanimous in their decision to charge Trump and certain high-ranking associates, such as attorney Rudy Giuliani and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Several prominent figures named by the special grand jurors. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; former Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn were among those whom the panel recommended for indictment, but were not ultimately charged. Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn was also on the list recommended for indictment.
Additionally, the grand jury recommended criminal indictments for former state Senator William Ligon and Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones. Ligon chaired a Senate committee where Trump’s legal team presented false allegations about the election and vote counting at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. Ligon also traveled to Washington on January 6 to urge Congress to reject Georgia’s presidential electors. A Fulton judge disqualified Willis from investigating Jones, citing a political conflict of interest, but he is not in the clear. The Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia is currently considering the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether charges should be brought against him.
The special grand jury convened for an extensive period, spanning nearly eight months from May 2022 to January 2023. During this time, they heard testimonies from approximately 75 witnesses and issued subpoenas to gather evidence. The jurors structured their recommendations around specific events that unfolded in Georgia following the 2020 election. These events included the notable phone call placed by Trump to Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, a series of legislative hearings where Giuliani and others presented false claims regarding the vote count in Georgia, and the appointment of a slate of Trump electors in Georgia, despite Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Out of the 16 fake electors, three individuals were eventually charged: former Georgia GOP chairman David Shafer, state Sen. Shawn Still, and former Coffee County GOP chairwoman Cathy Latham. At least eight other electors were able to negotiate immunity deals with prosecutors.
Jurors recommended specific charges against Trump, Giuliani, and Perdue in relation to their “persistent, repeated communications directed to multiple Georgia officials and employees” that occurred between November 2020 and January 2021.