A judge in Atlanta will allow the partial release of a special grand jury’s report into whether then-President Trump and his allies broke any laws as they sought to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said in an order released Monday that he will allow the publication of three sections of the grand jury report—including the panel’s introduction and conclusion to its findings as well as a section in which the grand jury “discusses its concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony to the grand jury.”
The ruling follows a hearing on January 24, when Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had urged McBurney to keep the report sealed for the time being, adding that decisions on whether to bring criminal charges were “imminent.”
Willis had cautioned that future defendants might argue that releasing the document, which includes details into Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat, could publicly hurt their rights, including the right to a fair trial. McBurney had replied that there would be “no rash decisions,” citing the extraordinary nature of the investigation.
The report’s delayed release comes amid other investigations into alleged efforts by Trump and his backers to subvert the 2020 election results in key battleground states.
In December, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection released its final report, concluding an 18-month probe into the plot to overturn the 2020 Presidential election and the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The Committee made among its recommendations that Congress should consider creating a “formal mechanism for evaluating whether to bar” Trump—who has announced he’s running for reelection in 2024—from holding future federal office due to evidence that he violated his constitutional oath to support the U.S. Constitution while engaging in an insurrection.
During its final public meeting before its official adjournment, the Committee had made four criminal referrals of former President Trump to the Department of Justice. In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed veteran career prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to determine, among his duties, whether criminal charges should be filed against Trump for his role in January 6.
In Georgia, DA Willis reportedly focused on several areas: phone calls made to Georgia officials by Trump and his allies; false statements made by Trump associates before Georgia legislative committees; a panel of 16 Republicans who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won the state and that they were the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors; the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta in January 2021; alleged attempts to pressure a Fulton County election worker; and breaches of election equipment in a rural south Georgia county.
McBurney scheduled the partial grand jury report’s release for Thursday.