Trump asks two more courts to quash Georgia special grand jury report
Just weeks before a grand jury in Georgia may consider charges against Donald Trump, the former president asked a pair of courts to step in and bar a report that may form the underpinnings of a potential case against him.
Attorneys for Trump appealed to the Superior Court of Fulton County and Georgia's Supreme Court in filings on Thursday and Friday, demanding that the report, made by a special purpose grand jury, be quashed. The report concluded an investigation into alleged efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results, and included recommendations for potential charges.
Trump's attorneys also demanded that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis be disqualified from any case brought against Trump. Her office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
In Trump's filings this week, his attorneys noted that a charging decision could come soon. Willis indicated in letters to County officials that any potential indictments in the case would be made between July 31 and Aug. 18.
"[Trump] now sits on a precipice," argued Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg and Jennifer Little, the attorneys. "A regular Fulton County grand jury could return an indictment any day that will have been based on a report and predicate investigative process that were wholly without authority."
The special purpose grand jury was empaneled in 2022 and interviewed 75 witnesses over the course of six months. It had the ability to issue subpoenas, compile a report and recommend charges. Its findings must be presented to a standard grand jury in the County before an indictment can be made.
The Trump attorneys originally filed to quash the report in March, in a nearly 500-page filing that argued the special purpose grand jury's process was "confusing, flawed, and at-times, blatantly unconstitutional."
Willis' office responded in May, asking that Trump's effort to quash be dismissed, saying it was "procedurally flawed and advanced arguments that lack merit."
Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over both the special purpose grand jury and the July 11 selection of standard grand jurors who may consider charges, has not ruled on the March effort to quash.
Trump's attorneys cited McBurney's lack of a decision in their filings Thursday and Friday.
"Even in an extraordinarily novel case of national significance, one would expect matters to take their normal procedural course within a reasonable time," they wrote. "But nothing about these processes have been normal or reasonable. And the all-but-unavoidable conclusion is that the anomalies below are because petitioner is President Donald J. Trump."
The investigation dates back to January 2021, soon after a recorded phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from earlier that month was made public. In the call, Trump told Raffensperger, "I just want to find 11,780 votes" — the number he would have needed to overtake Joe Biden in that state.
It became a sprawling probe that ultimately included letters sent in 2022 to multiple Trump allies warning that they could face charges, including so-called "fake electors" and Trump's former attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Trump, a Republican who is running again for president, denies wrongdoing and has defended the Raffensperger call as "perfect." He has accused Willis, a Democrat, of political bias.
Trump has volleyed the same accusation at prosecutors in two other cases.
On March 30, Trump became the first former president in U.S. history to be charged with crimes when a Manhattan grand jury indicted him on 34 state felony counts. He is accused of falsification of business records related to a 2016 "hush money" payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. On June 9, another indictment made Trump the first former president in U.S. history to be charged with federal crimes. In that case, he is accused of 37 federal felony counts related to alleged "willful retention" of top secret documents
Trump has entered not guilty pleas in both cases and denies any wrongdoing.
Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBS News Digital. Contact Graham at [email protected] or [email protected]