Trump lawyers attack Georgia grand jury and prosecutor

ATLANTA (AP) – Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are attacking a special grand jury and prosecutors who investigated him in Georgia, asking a state court to throw out its report and all testimony from the inquiry and bar Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from continuing to investigate or prosecute Trump.

The filing, made Monday in Atlanta, argues that the Georgia law that allows for special grand juries is unconstitutionally vague because it doesn’t say whether such a grand jury is handing criminal matters or civil matters. The lawyers also argue that the grand jury didn’t sufficiently protect Trump’s right to due process.

Lawyers Jennifer Little and Drew Findling wrote that the world watched a special grand jury process “that was confusing, flawed, and at times, blatantly unconstitutional.”

The lawyers wrote that the special grand jury “involved a constant lack of clarity as to the law, inconsistent applications of basic constitutional protections for individuals being brought before it, and a prosecutor’s office that was found to have an actual conflict, yet continued to pursue the investigation.”

Willis opened the Georgia investigation in early 2021, shortly after a recording of a phone call between Trump and a top state official was made public. During that Jan. 2, 2021, phone call, Trump suggested that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to reverse his narrow loss in the state.

The special grand jury, which was seated in May 2022, heard from about 75 witnesses and considered other evidence before wrapping up its work in December. It did not have the authority to issue indictments but instead produced a report with recommendations for Willis. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered most of that report to remain under seal.

The foreperson of the special grand jury said in news interviews last month that the panel recommended that numerous people be indicted, but she declined to say who. It is ultimately up to Willis to decide whether to go to a regular grand jury to seek one or more indictments in the case. She said during a hearing in January that decisions in the case are “imminent.”

The lawyers also attacked interviews that the foreperson and other grand jurors have given, writing that “the foreperson’s public comments in and of themselves likewise violate notions of fundamental fairness and due process and taint any future grand jury pool.”

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