Investigation of Trump’s “Flake” Predictions about the 2020 Presidential Election: Fulton County Circuit Attorney Fani Willis Filled Additional Court Petitions
Gingrich and Flynn are two of the more recent Trump allies who the Georgia prosecutor wants to compel testimony from.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the investigation into 2020 election interference, filed additional court petitions on Friday seeking to secure testimony from the out-of-state witnesses in front of the special grand jury meeting in Atlanta.
CNN previously reported that during their meeting, Flynn and Powell made outrageous suggestions about reversing the election, three weeks after Trump pardoned Flynn.
CNN reported that a House committee sent Gingrich a letter to discuss his role in promoting false claims about the 2020 presidential election.
Compelling testimony from witnesses who do not live in Georgia necessitates the use of a process that involves getting judges in other states to compel them to appear. She filed petitions Friday to get to the bottom of what happened.
CNN previously reported that the district attorney aims to quickly wrap up the grand jury’s work after the midterm elections and could begin issuing indictments as early as December, according to sources familiar with the situation.
An Interferometric Grand Jury Investigation of the 2020 Midterm Election Campaign by Donald J. Flynn and Robert J. Willis, D.C. Judge Robert McBurney
Flynn didn’t respond to email and phone calls seeking comment, and his lawyer didn’t reply to an email. Gingrich referred questions to his attorney, who declined to comment. Herschmann didn’t respond immediately.
Willis has said she plans to take a monthlong break from public activity in the case leading up to the November midterm election, which is one month from Saturday.
Each of the petitions filed Friday seeks to have the potential witnesses appear in November after the election. It looks like the process for getting testimony from out-of-state witnesses sometimes takes a while, so Willis is putting the wheels in motion for activity to resume.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, signed off on the petitions, certifying that each person whose testimony is sought is a “necessary and material” witness for the investigation.
It says he was involved along with others associated with the Trump campaign in a plan to run television ads that “repeated and relied upon false claims about fraud in the 2020 election” and encouraged members of the public to contact state officials to push them to challenge and overturn the election results based on those claims.
According to the petition, Flynn said in an interview that Trump could take military capabilities and place them in swing states and run a campaign to re-elect him.
He also met with Trump, attorney Sidney Powell and others at the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, for a meeting that, according to news reports, “focused on topics including invoking martial law, seizing voting machines, and appointing Powell as special counsel to investigate the 2020 election,” Willis wrote.
She wrote that the House committee also revealed that Herschmann had “multiple conversations” with Eastman, Giuliani, Powell “and others known to be associated with the Trump Campaign, related to their efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 elections in Georgia and elsewhere.” She said he had a heated conversation with Eastman about concerns in Georgia.
She identified Penrose as “a cyber investigations, operations and forensics consultant” who worked with Powell and others known to be associated with the Trump campaign in late 2020 and early 2021.
He also communicated with Powell and others regarding an agreement to hire data solutions firm SullivanStrickler to copy data and software from voting system equipment in Coffee County, about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta, as well as in Michigan and Nevada, Willis wrote. Penrose did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.
Willis wrote in a petition seeking Lee’s testimony that he was part of an effort to pressure elections worker Ruby Freeman, who was the subject of false claims about election fraud in Fulton County. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Semi-Poetical Resurrection of the First and Second Terms of the Reionization of Rep. Liz Cheney
Special grand juries are used to investigate complex cases with large numbers of witnesses in Georgia. They can compel evidence and subpoena witnesses for questioning and, unlike regular grand juries, can also subpoena the target of an investigation to appear before it.
The final report from the special grand jury was given to the district attorney’s office, but she doesn’t have to follow those suggestions if she chooses to hold a regular grand jury.
Mr. Graham was originally ordered to appear before the grand jury in late August. He was told to give testimony on November 17 by a subpoena, according to a document his lawyers filed with the Supreme Court.
Neither Mr. Graham’s media representative nor his lawyers could be reached for comment on Thursday, and a spokesman for Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, declined to comment. But the six-page ruling, from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, is a blow for Mr. Graham, the South Carolina Republican who transformed from a critic of Mr. Trump to an avid fan and his golfing partner over the course of Mr. Trump’s one term in office.
It is no surprise that the re emergence of Trump is posing new questions with the potential to challenge and damage the country’s political institutions.
A new White House run is on the table for Trump, as he is on a collision course with the Biden administration, the courts and facts.
It was already highly unusual for Trump to be in the political scene. One-term presidents do not last very long in history. But it is a testament to the firm hold he maintains over much of the GOP that he’s still a key player nearly two years after losing reelection. And while there is growing talk about whether his thicket of legal and political controversies could convince some GOP primary voters it’s time to move on, Trump still seems to have plenty of juice.
After the shock and awe of Trump’s single White House term, the nation and its political and legal systems are still far from dealing with and moving on. Rep. Liz Cheney said on Sunday that the panel wanted to avoid Trump turning his testimony into a circus.
The former President’s claims of political persecution and the fact that he is free to launch a presidential campaign even while he is in office show that any campaign based on his claims could cause more upheaval than his four years in office.
While the policies of both Democrats and Republicans on issues such as the economy, abortion, foreign policy and crime are clashing, voters are more concerned with the future of the ex-president than the current one.
A subpoena is being served on Trump by the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. More and more Trump aides are being brought before a grand jury as the Justice Department gets closer to a fateful decision over whether to charge the ex-President over the mob riot.
Kari Lake, the Trump Organization, and the Pro-Trump Circums Analysis: The New York Sessions are On The Way to Bring Trump Back to the White House
In Arizona, one of the ex-President’s favorite candidates, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake – a serial spreader of voter fraud falsehoods – is again raising doubts about the election system. “I’m afraid that it probably is not going to be completely fair,” Lake told AZTV7 on Sunday.
One of the most powerful pro-Trump Republicans, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the party’s number three leader in the House, told the New York Post last week that impeachment of Biden was “on the table.” Mace told CNN on Sunday that she didn’t want to see impeachment proceedings after Trump was impeached twice. She said she was against the process being “weaponized.” She said that it was something that would have to be investigated if Biden had committed impeachable offenses.
An already pro-Trump Republican presence in Washington is likely to expand after the midterms. Scores of Trump-endorsed candidates are running on a platform of his 2020 election fraud falsehoods, raising questions over whether they will accept results should they lose their races in just over two weeks.
The Trump Organization is going to go on trial in New York on Monday. The ex-President hasn’t been personally charged but the trial could impact his business empire and prompt fresh claims from him that he is being persecuted for political reasons that could inject yet another contentious element into election season. New York’s Attorney General, a Democrat, filed a $250 million civil suit against the Trump Organization and the president, claiming they ran tax and insurance fraud schemes to enrich themselves for years.
The Democrats are attempting to bring Trump back to the forefront. The pro-Trump campaign tried to scare suburban voters with warnings that the pro-Trump candidates are a danger to democracy, while President Joe Biden equated the pro- Trump followers with semi-fascism.
What Happens When an Ex-President Doesn’t Get a Thing Out of Cheney, or a Committee of Investigating a Political Subpoena
It could mean bad news for the party in power in Washington if voters vote for a new president because of inflation and spikes in gasoline prices.
The ex-President told supporters at a rally in Texas on Saturday regarding the possibility of a new White House bid, “I will probably have to do it again.”
It is likely to take multiple days, and will be done with a level of rigor and discipline that it deserves, according to Cheney.
This isn’t going to be his first debate with Biden, and the circus and food fight that happened during the debate. This is a far too serious set of issues.”
Trump offered a glimpse of how he might use an appearance before the committee to create a political extravaganza after the panel announced it would send out the subpoena. He bashed the panel in a 14-page letter, calling them “highly partisan political hacks” and “thugs” who did nothing but destroy the lives of many hard-working Americans.
The committee has taken depositions in private and on video, and used testimony in its presentations. Only its most sympathetic witnesses have appeared in person. While this has helped create a powerful narrative that has painted a picture of shocking derelictions of duty by Trump on January 6, it has also deprived viewers of seeing witnesses under cross examination. This has made it difficult to assess whether the committee’s case would stand up to more rigorous evidentiary requirements in a court of law.
The prospect of video testimony over an intense period of days or hours is likely to be unappealing to the former President because it would be harder for him to dictate the terms of the exchanges and control how his testimony might be used.
This could be academic, anyway. A new Republican House majority could sweep January 6 committee away, making the issue pointless given the possibility of a legal challenge to the subpoena.
If there is evidence that a crime has been committed, Garland will be in a difficult position if the consequences of prosecuting a former commander in chief in a politicized environment could tear the country apart.
Were Trump, for instance, to be prosecuted – over what so far appears to be a larger haul of documents and conduct that may add up to obstruction – and Biden is not, the ex-president would incite a firestorm of protest among his supporters. Even though the sitting president enjoys protections from prosecution because of historic Justice Department guidance, it’s hard to see how the political ground for prosecuting just one of them could hold firm – especially if Biden and Trump are rival presidential candidates in 2024.
The office of Mr. Graham says that he may return to the federal courts if the district attorney inquires about his constitutionally protected activities.
However, he added, those objections may have to be hashed out in open court — a risk for the senator, Mr. Cunningham said, “because it may disclose to public view both the topics the grand jury is exploring and his unwillingness to answer such questions.”
The One-Hour Phone Call Between Donald Trump and His Allies in Georgia During the November 2021 Insurrection: Why We Care about You, But You Can’t Give Up
But Raffensperger could prove to be a particularly compelling witness. His profile grew after the 2020 election when he resisted Trump’s efforts to pressure him to “find” the votes necessary for Trump to win Georgia in an infamous January 2021 phone call.
In recent months a number of Mr. Trump allies have been arguing in court that they should not have to participate. Their track record has been mixed so far.
Mike Hassinger, public information officer with the Georgia secretary of state’s office, confirmed that the office received a subpoena from Smith.
The grand jury activity expands on previous investigative steps the Justice Department has taken to understand efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies in battleground states after the election.
Since Thanksgiving, Smith has brought a number of close Trump associates before a grand jury in Washington, DC, including two former White House lawyers, three of Trump’s closest aides, and his former speechwriter Stephen Miller.
In excerpts of the one-hour call, Trump lambasted his fellow Republican for refusing to falsely say that he won the election in Georgia and repeatedly touted baseless claims of election fraud.
The people of Georgia and the country are angry. In one part of the call, Trump said there was ‘nothing wrong’ with saying you’ve changed your mind.
The Georgia Republican testified before the House select committee this summer about the threats he received after standing up to Trump, as well as talking with the committee about the January 6 insurrection.
It’s unclear how long Smith, who will also oversee the investigation into the potential mishandling of federal records taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House, may continue to work before deciding on any charges in the probes. Smith could still spend time organizing and expanding his team, even if the investigations result in charges within months, people familiar with parts of the probe said.
As is normal, it is not known what the people who found the classified documents at the Florida storage facility may have said to the grand jury. But the ex-president is being investigated not just for possible violations of the Espionage Act, but also for potential obstruction of justice related to the documents.
The two individuals, who were hired to search four of Trump’s properties last fall months after the FBI executed a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort over the summer, were each interviewed for about three hours in separate appearances last week. The grand jury was not told about the extent of information they offered, though they did answer some questions, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The development comes at the same time federal prosecutors are pushing to look at files on a laptop of at least one staff member around Trump at Mar-a-Lago, according to multiple sources. During recent times, the special counsel’s office has been unwilling to negotiate over subpoenas.
The investigators are trying to determine if there is an electronic paper trail when it comes to classified documents, another source said.
The Biden and Pence situations have been markedly different. While they also highlight sloppiness around the tracking of classified papers, both Biden’s and Pence’s teams have readily handed them back to intelligence officials.
The discovery of additional records by the two people Trump’s lawyers hired came in November, well after Trump’s team and the FBI under a court-approved warrant unearthed hundreds of other classified pages in his possession following his presidency. At that time, Trump’s lawyers were locked in a dispute with the Justice Department over whether they had adequately searched his properties and turned over all classified records still in his possession. The DOJ was unsatisfied, and their investigation has continued.
Judicial peril and the investigation of the Mar-a-Lago investigation: Donald Trump’s two-state campaign swing on Monday
Special Counsel Jack Smith and prosecutors who now work for him, often use the federal grand jury to question witnesses in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.
The former president, who was impeached twice and is accused of fomenting an insurrection, started his first two-state campaign swing Saturday as he seeks a political comeback.
Then on Monday, Trump’s potential exposure – in two of his multiple strands of legal peril – appeared to grow, foreshadowing a campaign likely to be repeatedly punctuated by distractions from criminal investigations.
Trump is a master of calling people to account, legally and politically. He built a strong foundation of his new presidential quest about the idea that he was being politically retaliated against by the Justice Department and what he claims are rogue Democratic prosecutors.
“We’re going to stop the appalling weaponization of our justice system. There’s never been a justice system like this. The ex-president said that it was all an investigation.
This is a message that may be attractive to some of Trump’s base voters who themselves feel alienated from the federal government and previously bought into his claims about a “deep state” conspiracy against him. It’s also a technique, in which a strongman leader argues that he is taking the heat so his followers don’t have to, that is a familiar page in the authority playbooks of demagogues throughout history.
The case against a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel: a special counsel investigation into the alleged unlawful retention of national defense information
Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel at the Department of Defense, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday that the latest development was a sign of an advanced special counsel investigation and could indicate that Smith was leaning toward indictments.
It sounds like he’s trying to make sure that the witnesses testify in a way that protects them from incriminating evidence against Trump or exonerating evidence against him.
The Kentucky Republican said they would definitely expand it if the evidence showed that there was influence peddling with the classified documents. He said that Biden’s family was very close to Chinese Communist party members but gave no evidence that they had anything to do with classified documents. His statement implied that the committee is trying to find evidence to condemn Biden but is not treating Trump in the same way.
Both special counsel investigations into Trump and Biden have their own agendas. In a legal sense, there is no overlap between them. But they will both be subject to the same political inferno if findings are made public.
The country got a reminder of how lower-ranking federal workers can be treated when secret material is located in their home.
CNN’s Holmes Lybrand reported that court documents show that a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, who stored files with classified information at his Florida home, will plead guilty in February to one count of unlawful retention of national defense information.
The Fulton County Superior Court’s Special Purpose Grand Jury’s Final Report Will Not be Posted Out of Court, nor Will the Report Be Redacted
Recommendations from the special grand jury about potential charges will not be made public. That’s because some of the people named in those recommendations may not have appeared in grand jury proceedings so far.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered a limited release earlier this week, and wrote in his order that it will be made public on Thursday.
“These three parts included the introduction and conclusion to the final report, and Section VIII in which the special purpose grand jury discusses its concern that some witnesses may have lied during their testimony to the grand jury,” McBurney wrote. “Because the grand jury does not identify those witnesses, that conclusion may be publicly disclosed at this time.”
The decision Monday comes after a Jan. 24 hearing where District Attorney Fani Willis’ office argued against publishing the report and a consortium of media outlets said it should be published with no redactions.
The order by McBurney is a compromise, as he wrote that the public should be aware of some parts of the report while others are kept under wraps.
Unlike regular grand juries, which meet for a much more limited time and consider multiple cases, this rarely used body spent roughly eight months interviewing more than 70 witnesses and gathering evidence, though it did not have the power to issue indictments.
Jurors voted to have that report made public, but the judge had questions about the applicability of prior precedents that have generally barred such reports from outlining alleged crimes without an indictment.
The special purpose grand jury left him with a decision that wasn’t easy to understand, and he believes it would be unfair to have that exploration made public out of court.
“We have to be mindful of protecting future defendants’ rights,” Willis said. We don’t think it’s appropriate to release this report at this time, because we want to make sure everyone is treated fairly, and for future defendants to be treated fairly.
Though the work of the special grand jury was largely conducted behind closed doors, relevant public court filings have given clues as to potential targets of the investigation who might have broken laws. Those details include:
In document preservation requests made to Georgia officials in February of 2021., Willis stated that she was investigating possible crimes, including solicitation of election fraud, making false statements to government bodies, conspiracy, Rackets, violation of oath of office and violence related to election administration.
The big question is whether the portions will include any bits of information that shed new light on what Trump himself did two years ago and whether the special grand jury concluded that the former president committed any crimes.
A grand jury report on the investigation of a perfect phone call by Donald Trump to Joe Biden in Georgia (and a summary of the investigation)
Trump lost to Joe Biden in Georgia by nearly 12,000 votes in 2020. The former president has insisted that there was nothing problematic about his activities contesting the election.
Cunningham added to CNN that “there is no doubt that whatever (the report is) referring to is either conduct that was done directly by Donald Trump or done on his behalf.”
There is a group of citizens who have spent nine months working on this and decided that at least some of what was done to overturn the election results was a crime. I think that is very significant.
The Georgia probe was set off nearly two years ago by an hourlong January 2021 phone call from Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” the votes necessary for Trump to win the Peach State. Trump has referred to it as a “perfect” phone call.
The special grand jury, barred from issuing indictments, penned their final report as a culmination of its seven months of work, which included interviewing 75 witnesses, from Giuliani to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Its final report is likely to include some summary of the panel’s investigative work, as well as any recommendations for indictments and the alleged conduct that led the panel to its conclusions.
No one has been charged in the case yet, and another grand jury in Fulton County would make those decisions now that the special grand jury has presented its findings to Willis.