Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is presenting her election case involving former President Donald Trump and associates before a grand jury Monday. As reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Willis’ legal team is scheduled to initiate the proceedings at the Atlanta courthouse on Monday morning. Notably, former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and independent journalist George Chidi confirmed that they were informed of their upcoming testimony before a 23-person grand jury on Tuesday.
This move comes amid the possibility of a second indictment against Trump within a two-week timeframe, related to alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump already faces federal charges stemming from the investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who probed the events of January 6th.
The Journal-Constitution suggests that Willis may explore the option of pursuing racketeering charges against Trump and his associates. In past cases involving the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, Willis has taken between one to two days to present her arguments.
Gabe Sterling, a prominent figure in the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, responded cautiously when asked about his potential involvement in the grand jury proceedings. Sterling stated during an appearance on “ABC News” on Sunday, “My lawyer said I couldn’t talk about this too much one way or another, but if I am called, when I am called, I will go and do what I did before: I will tell the truth, answer honestly.” Sterling had previously provided testimony before a separate special grand jury last summer.
Former President Trump took to TRUTH Social to express his views on the matter. In a post on Sunday, Trump questioned the motives behind Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ actions, asking, “Why is ‘Phoney’ Fani Willis, the severely underperforming D.A. of Fulton County … leaking my name in regard to a Grand Jury pertaining to Election Fraud & Irregularities that I say took place in Georgia.” Trump defended his actions, describing them as a “PERFECT PHONE CALL OF PROTEST,” and urged Willis to prioritize other pressing concerns, such as rising crime rates in Atlanta.
Trump further asserted, “The only Election Interference that took place in Fulton County, Georgia, was done by those that Rigged and Stole the Election, not by me, who simply complained that the Election was Rigged and Stolen.” He claimed to possess substantial evidence and criticized Willis for allegedly not showing interest in it. It should be noted that Willis has neither confirmed nor denied the possibility of an imminent indictment, though her earlier statements and security measures around the Fulton County Courthouse suggest that significant action could be on the horizon.
There is widespread anticipation that Willis may employ Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law to charge not only the former president but also associates alleged to have been involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy. Of the 3,571 individuals in custody in Fulton County as of Friday, 1,683, or 47%, had yet to be indicted. Critics have voiced concerns over the pace of indictments, especially for individuals facing serious charges. Trump’s recent characterization of Atlanta as a “crime-ridden” city where “people are afraid to walk outside” has been met with contrasting statistical evidence.
Though Atlanta experienced a surge in violent crime in recent years, data from the city police department indicates improvements. As of August 5th, homicides had declined by 25%, rapes had seen a 56% reduction, and aggravated assaults were down by 22% compared to the same period in the previous year, according to The Associated Press.
As the legal proceedings unfold, observers are closely watching for developments in the Fulton County Courthouse, as they could have significant implications for the ongoing legal discourse surrounding the events of the 2020 election.