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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Trump election interference case to go to grand jury in Georgia early this week


By Richard Fausset


Atlanta-area prosecutors have indicated that they will go before a grand jury early this week to present the results of their investigation into election interference by former President Donald Trump and his allies, raising the possibility that within days Trump could face a fourth criminal indictment.


On Saturday, two witnesses who have received subpoenas to testify before the grand jury — Geoff Duncan, the former lieutenant governor of Georgia, and George Chidi, an independent journalist — revealed that they had received notices to appear before the grand jury Tuesday. A spokesperson for the Fulton County district attorney’s office, which conducted the investigation, could not be reached for comment Saturday.


Why it matters


A state-level indictment of Trump in Georgia would follow closely on the heels of a federal indictment, unveiled this month, that is also related to the former president’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. But unlike with federal convictions, Trump, if reelected president, could not attempt to pardon himself if convicted of state crimes in Georgia.


Moreover, while the federal case brought by special counsel Jack Smith names only Trump, details have surfaced suggesting that a Georgia indictment could name numerous people, some of them well known and powerful, who played roles in the multipronged effort to help Trump overturn his narrow 2020 election loss in the state.


Chidi informed The New York Times on Saturday that he had received the notice to appear. Duncan on Saturday told CNN, where he is an on-air contributor, that he had received the notice to appear.


Background


Fani Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, has spent 2 1/2 years investigating whether Trump and his allies interfered in the 2020 election in the state. Other investigations of the former president have resulted in indictments in New York, Florida and Washington, D.C.


In New York, Trump was indicted in April on state charges stemming from his alleged role in paying hush money to a porn star. In June, he was indicted in Miami in a federal case related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents; the federal indictment regarding election interference came Aug. 1.


Trump has pleaded not guilty in those cases.


The Georgia investigation may be the most expansive legal challenge yet to the efforts that Trump and his advisers undertook to keep him in power. Nearly 20 people are known to have been told that they could face charges as a result of the investigation.


Trump’s lawyers have described an indictment in Georgia as a foregone conclusion in recent legal filings, and the foreperson of a special grand jury that heard evidence for several months last year strongly hinted afterward that the group, which served in an advisory capacity, had recommended Trump for indictment.


What’s next


If Trump is indicted in Georgia, he will have to travel to Atlanta in the days or weeks afterward to be booked and arraigned. Numerous security measures are in place at the courthouse, including orange barriers that now ring the downtown court complex.


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