Indictment Imminent? Georgia Gears Up to Prosecute Trump: Here’s the Latest Update

The Fulton County courthouse was fortified with orange barriers on Monday morning, with the street in front of the building cordoned off. Media trucks were stationed along the street, and law enforcement presence was noticeable, though the surroundings remained calm.
Over the weekend, two witnesses in the investigation disclosed that they had been called upon to testify during this week, providing more clarity to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s timeline.

Here’s what to anticipate in the upcoming days:

When might an indictment be issued? Willis initiated the case presentation on Monday, and the grand jury is expected to adjourn for the week on Tuesday. However, two crucial witnesses originally slated for Tuesday testimony have been rescheduled to Monday, hinting that charges could be brought sooner.

A document briefly surfaced on the Fulton County Superior Court’s website on Monday, listing various criminal charges against Trump related to electoral interference, as reported by Reuters. The document was subsequently removed without explanation. Willis’s spokesperson refuted the accuracy of the Reuters report on Monday, while the court clerk’s office labeled the document as “fictitious,” offering no clarification on its online appearance.

In a statement, Trump’s legal representatives criticized the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for its handling of the grand jury process and questioned the propriety of a potential indictment.

Who is expected to testify this week? Among the anticipated witnesses is Geoff Duncan, the former Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, who spoke out against Trump’s baseless allegations of electoral fraud in the November 3, 2020, election. Initially set to testify on Tuesday, his appearance was moved to Monday. Duncan said he looked forward to addressing the grand jury’s inquiries regarding the 2020 election. He added, “Republicans should never let honesty be mistaken for weakness.”

Another summoned witness is George Chidi, an independent journalist who stumbled upon a meeting of state GOP officials attempting to validate an alternate set of Electoral College votes for Trump. Chidi was summoned to testify on Tuesday, but his testimony was also moved to Monday.

Chidi commented on his situation via X (formerly known as Twitter), saying, “Change of plans. I’m going to court today.” He also said they were moving faster than anticipated.

On Monday, the grand jurors also heard testimony from Bee Nguyen, a former Democratic state representative who attended hearings where Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani urged officials not to certify Georgia’s election outcomes. Additional witnesses and an investigator tasked with summarizing witness interviews and other testimonies might appear before the grand jury.

What is the focus of the Georgia investigation? Fani Willis, a Democratic elected official in Atlanta, has spent over two and a half years investigating allegations of election meddling by Trump and his associates. Trump has accused Willis of being biased against him and denied any wrongdoing in Georgia.

Georgia’s official recount and an audit led by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger found no evidence of widespread fraud, and legal challenges were unsuccessful. However, Trump exerted pressure on various Georgia officials, including Raffensperger, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and the late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, urging them to overturn the election results.

Willis’s investigation has focused on Trump’s interactions with Georgia Republicans in the weeks following the election, including a phone call in which he implored Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”

Raffensperger, a former Trump supporter who resisted the former president’s pressure, provided testimony to Willis’s office.
Another facet of Willis’s inquiry concerns the “alternate electors,” individuals who certified that Trump had triumphed in Georgia’s 2020 election and declared themselves the state’s legitimate electors.

In July 2022, Willis notified 16 GOP alternate electors that they were the subjects of her investigation. At least eight of them reached immunity agreements, enabling them to evade prosecution if they cooperate and testify.

A third major line of inquiry centers on an alleged breach of voting equipment in Coffee County, a rural Georgia area situated approximately 200 miles from Atlanta. Surveillance footage depicted Trump operatives gaining access to a secure section of the county’s election office in January 2021.

Why is a new grand jury handling this case?

Encountering reluctance from numerous potential witnesses to testify without being subpoenaed, Willis requested the formation of a special grand jury, empowered under Georgia law to issue subpoenas and deliver a report on its findings but not authorized to issue criminal indictments. Over 75 witnesses were interviewed by this special grand jury, including prominent figures like Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

A segment of the special grand jury’s report was made public earlier in the year, indicating that certain interviewed witnesses might have committed perjury. Both Duncan and Chidi testified before this earlier special grand jury.

The complete report, not publicly disclosed, granted Willis the authority to present the case before a standard grand jury, which holds the power to issue indictments.

What charges might Willis bring forth?

Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, modeled after the federal law, is likely to be included in Willis’s indictment. Willis has previously utilized RICO prosecutions in high-profile cases.

In addition to racketeering charges, Willis could levy accusations of perjury, election tampering, and other offenses. The prosecution’s central argument will aim to convince a jury that a network of individuals collaborated in criminal activities to overturn Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia.