Attorneys close to several Republican witnesses in the Fulton County investigation into post-election interference by former President Donald Trump and his allies are preparing to move to quash any possible indictments of District Attorney, Fani Willis.
Their attempt to do so would build on recent public statements by the foreman of a special purpose grand jury, Emily Kohrs, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke to CBS News.
The special purpose grand jury served as an investigative body that could recommend charges but could not indict. Willis is now deciding whether to pursue charges and open a “regular” criminal grand jury to seek possible indictments against Trump or others based on the special grand jury’s recommendations, gleaned in a report he made after his job was completed.
He has not yet decided whether to pursue the charges and has only said that a decision on how to proceed is “imminent”.
Should she pursue the charges, attorneys for several witnesses are preparing to move to dismiss the charges, based on the foreman’s comments, which she argues taint those charges and the investigation.
CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman says it’s not appropriate for Kohrs to comment, but believes it won’t make any legal difference, since Willis will make his decision and a new grand jury will sit down to hand down any indictments.
Kohrs is prohibited from sharing any information from the special grand jury deliberations, and it appears he hasn’t, Klieman noted. However, some legal concerns could arise if she or other grand jurors reveal any of the deliberations.
Kohrs said the jury recommended more than a dozen indictments at the conclusion of its investigation into post-election meddling by former President Donald Trump and his allies, though he declined in multiple interviews with news agencies to say whether the grand jury recommended indictments against Trump.
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He also said the grand jury report, which was delivered to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, recommended indictments on a number of charges. Seven of the report’s eight sections remain sealed: On Feb. 16, a judge ordered the release of the report’s introduction, conclusion, and eighth section, in which grand jurors recommended that Willis’ office consider perjury charges against one or more of the 75 witnesses heard from last year.
Kohrs declined to name anyone the grand jury recommended for prosecution. Asked by The New York Times whether Trump himself could be indicted, Kohrs replied: “You won’t be shocked. It’s not rocket science.
He said the grand jury decided not to interview Trump, even though his name was frequently mentioned.
“I’ll tell you it was a process where we heard his name a lot,” Kohrs told CNN on Tuesday. “We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump and we definitely discussed it a lot in the room. And I will say that when this list comes out, you wouldn’t — there aren’t any big twists waiting for you.
Despite the focus on Trump, Kohrs told the Associated Press the grand jury decided there was no need to call him as a witness.
“Trump was not a battle that we chose to fight,” Kohrs said.
In his interview with the Associated Press, Kohrs said he found the testimony of a former Dominion Voting Systems executive about how voting machines worked fascinating.
The grand jury was appointed in early May 2022, hearing evidence and receiving information from June 1 through December. In the introduction to its report, the jury said it found there was “widespread fraud” that could have upended the presidential election.
Willis’ office indicated in court filings that others came under scrutiny in the investigation, including a group of 16 Georgia Republicans who participated in an alternative election program and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Kohrs told the Associated Press that Giuliani invoked the privilege and didn’t answer many questions.
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