(NEW YORK) — A special grand jury has been seated in Fulton County, Georgia, as part of the ongoing criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.
For over a year, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating whether Trump and other Republican allies broke the law when they pressured state officials to try to switch the results in his favor.
On Monday, 26 jurors were selected in an Atlanta courthouse out of a pool of approximately 200 candidates — a major step forward in the only publicly known criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The selection process took less than two hours.
The special grand jury does not have the ability to return an indictment, and can only make recommendations concerning criminal prosecution — a process that’s expected to take months.
Another grand jury would be needed in order to bring charges.
The move to seat the special grand jury was approved by a group of judges in January, after Willis said it was required because “a significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.”
Last week, Willis said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “if there’s enough evidence that someone committed a crime … I’m going to bring an indictment. I don’t care who it is.”
Willis officially launched her probe in February 2021, sparked in part by a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pleaded with him to “find 11,780 votes,” the exact number Trump needed to win Georgia.
Trump has repeatedly defended his phone call to Raffensperger. In a January statement responding to the news that a grand jury would be seated as part of the investigation, he said the call was “perfect.”
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