Security Barriers Going Up at Fulton County Courthouse amid Georgia Election Probe

July 28, 2023

Security barriers were spotted being erected Thursday around the Fulton County courthouse in Georgia, amid an investigation into interference in that state’s 2020 Presidential election. 

In May, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis indicated she may potentially charge former President Trump in August related to her investigation.

In a letter to the chief judge of the courthouse, Willis said she plans to have 70% of her staff working remotely between July 31 and August 18, adding that those who will remain in the courthouse then will include leadership staff and “all armed investigators.”

“I respectfully request that judges not schedule trials and in person hearings during the weeks beginning Monday, August 7 and Monday, August 14,” Willis’ letter said without giving a reason for her request. 

In April Willis had indicated in a previous letter that she’d planned to make that announcement between July 11 and September 1. However, her timetable reportedly had to be pushed back while she worked to hammer out cooperation deals with some potential defendants.

In January, Willis told Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney decisions on whether to bring criminal charges were “imminent.”

The next month, a special grand jury in the case released a six-page, partial report into their investigation. Among its findings, the grand jury said it found “that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election”—a rejection of arguments made by Trump and his supporters.

In her prosecution, Willis has 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.

The erection of the barriers comes the same week that former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani admitted in a filing in U.S. District Court in DC that he had made “false” statements against two Georgia election workers, mother and daughter Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

In 2022, Freeman and Moss testified to the House Select January 6 Committee that Giuliani’s false statements related to debunked conspiracy theories about their actions on Election Day 2020 have led to such an endangering of their lives that there’s “nowhere” that they feel safe.

Trump had zeroed in on Fulton County after he lost Georgia by a slim margin to President Biden in November 2020. Willis’ prosecution reportedly was sparked by Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, during which the then-President pressured his fellow Republican, who recorded the call, saying, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.”

Trump has denied any wrongdoing related to Georgia’s 2020 election.

PHOTO: Atlanta’s Fulton County Courthouse in 2011

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