Bloomberg Law
Feb. 16, 2023, 7:53 PM

Trump Grand Jury Urges DA to Seek Indictments for Perjury (2)

Zoe Tillman
Zoe Tillman
Bloomberg News

A Georgia grand jury investigating 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and allies said they believe one or more witnesses committed perjury and found no “widespread fraud” that would have overturned President Joe Biden’s win in the state, according to report excerpts released Thursday.

“A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” according to the excerpts. “The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”

The introduction, the conclusion, and a section expressing concern that witnesses may have lied under oath were released under an orderfrom Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney. But details about who the grand jurors said should — or should not — face charges will remain sealed, at least for now, to protect their right to due process, the judge previously ruled.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told a judge last month a decision as to whether charges would be pursued against anyone in the case was “imminent.”

WATCH: Bloomberg’s Wendy Benjaminson speaks on “Balance of Power” about the Georgia grand jury investigation.
Source: Bloomberg

After hearing “extensive testimony” from witnesses, the grand jurors did vote unanimously “that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.”

The grand jury heard evidence involving 75 witnesses — the “overwhelming majority” of whom testified in-person and under oath — including poll workers, investigators, technical experts and state employees, as well as people “still claiming that such fraud took place.” The grand jury also received digital and physical media evidence.

Trump did not testify before the special grand jury.

The former president “did absolutely nothing wrong,” said his spokesman Steven Cheung in a statement. Trump “participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do.”

Witness List

The special grand jury wasn’t authorized to return indictments. In order to press charges, Fulton County prosecutors would have to present their case to a regular grand jury.

The grand jury didn’t specify who it believed may have committed perjury. The DA sought testimony from a wide range of figures associated with the Trump campaign efforts to contest Biden’s win in Georgia and in other battleground states. Willis also called state officials who said they resisted efforts to interfere with the results.

Among the high-profile witnesses called were Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, top Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

“We have no concerns about any of that,” Giuliani attorney Robert Costello said in a phone call Thursday. “I’m confident he’s not one of those people they’re talking about.”

Eastman “remains confident that his representation of former President Trump was well within the strictures of the law,” according to a statement from his legal team. They questioned how “a group of grand jurors who admit they have no expertise in election law, would nevertheless claim that they found no evidence of fraud in the election.”

A spokesman for Kemp, who was ridiculed by Trump for resisting calls to alter the state’s election results, said he would reserve comment while the process continues to play out.

As for the rest of the report, the grand jurors wrote that the document laid out “recommendations on indictments and relevant statutes,” including the vote tallies of the group, but those portions will remain under seal for now. The court released four pages from what appeared to be a nine-page document, plus one page of an addendum.

The grand jury said the district attorney has discretion if she thinks additional charges are warranted.

‘Fundamental Fairness’

The special purpose grand jury wrapped up its work in January following months of closed-door proceedings to hear from witnesses and consider evidence. The grand jury recommended that its final report be made public, a position that was backed by a coalition of media outlets that included Bloomberg News. Willis had argued against release, saying it would be unfair to any potential defendants.

In a Feb. 13 order, McBurney wrote that “fundamental fairness” required keeping the bulk of the report under seal, since the prosecutor’s office had controlled how the grand jury did its work and anyone named in the report wouldn’t have had a chance to put on a defense — they couldn’t have lawyers with them and couldn’t present their own witnesses.

“By all appearances, the special purpose grand jury did its work by the book. The problem here, in discussing public disclosure, is that the book’s rules do not allow for the objects of the District Attorney’s attention to be heard in the manner we require in a court of law,” McBurney wrote at the time.

McBurney asked the district attorney’s office for “periodic updates” on their investigation so that he could decide later if more of the report could become public.

Willis has been investigating Trump and several allies for two years on allegations they violated Georgia’s election laws, as well as for possible conspiracy and racketeering offenses. Among other matters, she’s probing the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which Trump asked Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” — the amount the former president needed to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia.

(Updates with Eastman, Kemp. An earlier version was corrected to remove David Shafer, who was called as a witness but did not testify.)

--With assistance from Greg Farrell and Mark Niquette.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Zoe Tillman in Washington at;
Erik Larson in New York at;
David Voreacos in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Sara Forden at

Elizabeth Wasserman

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