Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Tuesday suggested she believes the grand juries investigating Donald Trump and his associates attempts to thwart the 2020 elections at Georgia has recommended several indictments. She also said that her decision about whether or not to pursue the charges against him will be “imminent.”
In a public hearing in Atlanta on whether or not to reveal the report of the special grand jury. Willis who is a Democrat has said she is against publishing the report currently and cited her ongoing debates regarding the charges.
“Decisions are in the near future,” Willis told Judge Robert McBurney.
“We would like to ensure all people are treated with respect and believe that in order in order for future defendants to be treated fairly , it’s not the right time to release this report,” she said.
A special jury which was barred from indictments, composed the much-anticipated final report to mark the culmination of seven months of investigation that included interrogating witnesses ranging from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Special grand juries heard testimony from 75 witness, Willis said Tuesday.
Donald Wakeford, Fulton County’s chief Assistant District Attorney, made a case to Judge that it was “dangerous” to publish the report prior to any announcement regarding potential allegations is released.
“We believe that releasing the report prior to the time that the District Attorney has had the chance to discuss the issue publicly, whether there will be charges or not – simply because there’s not been a sufficient amount of time to evaluate it – is risky,” Wakeford said. “It’s risky for the people who might or may not be included in the report due to various reasons. It’s also a disservice for witnesses who appeared before the grand jury to speak the truth before the jury.”
Atlanta-area prosecutors are currently studying the report while weighing whether they should bring accusations against Trump and his associates.
McBurney who headed this special jury’s seven-month inquiry, will decide which report to be made available in the open and, if so how much. Although the grand jurors recommended that the report be made available to the public however, its report’s contents have been kept private.
🚨🚨BREAKING: Fulton County DA Fani Willis says that her team’s investigation into Trump's attempt to overturn the election results in GA has heard credible allegations that serious crimes have been committed and that she believes some individuals may see jail time.
— Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump) September 15, 2022
A media alliance comprised of is asking for the entire report to be released to the public.
“We believe that the report should be made public now and in all its completeness. This is in line with the way in which the American justice system works,” attorney Tom Clyde representing the coalition said. “In this way it’s not unusual for the district attorney or prosecuting authority to feel not comfortable with the requirement to release information throughout the course of the investigation. It happens every day.”
Following the conclusion of the two-hour hearing McBurney stressed the uniqueness of the matter by saying “I believe our fact that we needed to talk about this for 90 minutes is proof that this is a little unusual.”
“There’ll be no snap rulings” he declared, and added that later: “No one’s going to be awakened by the court’s information on the cover of a paper.”
McBurney must consider the public’s interest in being aware of attempts to influence the presidential election last year against the possibility that making the information available could delay an investigation that is ongoing in the event that the district attorney is looking for indictments. Additionally, the release could be viewed as a denigration of those who haven’t been accused of crimes, according to Peter Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia.
“What do you not want to happen is the chance for a grand jury accuse someone of criminal activity that can later be proved or isn’t substantiated and that person doesn’t have an opportunity to clean his or his or her of any wrongdoing,” Skandalakis said.
Attorneys representing Trump didn’t attend the hearing on Tuesday.
“The grand jury required the testimony of many other, usually high-ranking officials throughout the investigation, however, they never considered it necessary to meet with President Trump,” Trump attorneys Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg and Jennifer Little said in a statement. “Therefore we can conclude that the grand jury performed their duty and scrutinized the facts and laws, as we have found no violations of law by the President Trump.”