A US judge on Thursday released parts of the report from a special grand jury probing possible interference by Donald Trump in the 2020 election – making public its allegations that witnesses may have lied under oath .
Prosecutors in Georgia have spent two years investigating whether Trump and his allies committed a crime in the southern state to reverse his defeat to Joe Biden by less than 12,000 votes.
“Most of the grand jury believe that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses,” the jurors said.
“The grand jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for crimes where the evidence is compelling.”
The investigative panel of 23 jurors, who cannot issue indictments, took testimony from some of Trump’s closest aides, including his fourth chief of staff Mark Meadows, his former attorney Rudy Giuliani and Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered Monday that the report’s opening and conclusions be made public, along with a clause about possible perjury.
Its full charging recommendations, including the identities of those in its crosshairs, are being kept secret for now because some of the targets have not yet had a chance to appear at grand jury proceedings.
Democratic District Attorney Fannie Willis will make a final charge decision after presenting the panel’s findings to one of the regularly empaneled criminal grand juries in Fulton County, a process that may have already begun.
The panel examined Trump’s phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, when he asked election officials to “find” the 11,780 votes that would put him one vote ahead of Biden.
It also investigated efforts by top Trump aides to have Republican activists pose as presidential “voters” at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta in December 2020 and sign certificates falsely claiming Trump won the state election.
Other lines of questioning about state lawmakers include false claims of election fraud, illegal attempts to access voting machines, threats against Georgia election workers, and allegations of harassment.
Legal experts have speculated that Trump could be charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, allowing prosecutors to argue that Trump and his associates were part of a criminal enterprise.
The probe, repeatedly described by Trump as a “witch hunt”, comes amid a number of investigations into alleged actions by the former president and his lieutenants following his election defeat.
A congressional committee probing a 2021 attack on the US Capitol argued in its final report last year that Trump’s team was behind a multi-stage plan to cling to power despite his election loss.
And a semi-independent prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland has issued subpoenas to Trump administration officials and election officials in Georgia and other swing states as part of the same attempted criminal investigation.
Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence is among those receiving subpoenas, and CNN reported Thursday that Meadows was also summoned in January.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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