An Atlanta-area special grand jury on Tuesday issued subpoenas for seven associates of former President Donald Trump.
This is a completely unsurprising move by District Attorney Fani Willis. The prosecutor continues to dig for some actionable evidence of wrongdoing by the former president and his allies involving the 2020 presidential election.
Willis personally selected members of the special grand jury and sat in on questioning potential panelists. With a father who was a Black Panther and became a trial lawyer, Willis said she grew up “in the movement.”
Now, she declared, she is protecting the sanctity of voting rights against attempts to subvert the will of the people.
The special grand jury is a rarely used tool and is unique in that it does not issue indictments. It does, however, hear from witnesses and collect evidence for a report advising whether individuals should face prosecution.
It took approval from a majority of the Atlanta-area county’s superior court judges, which of course was granted. There is no time limit on the body, which typically seats 16 to 23 members.
One of the grand jury’s targets is former New York City Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. He was Trump’s point man in his challenges to the presidential election results and already testified in front of Georgia legislators in late 2020.
Another is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is alleged to have made two calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the election. Court filings assert Graham asked about reexamining absentee ballots in the state to see if irregularities would change the final tally.
Prosecutors anticipate Graham’s testimony will lead to other sources relevant to the investigation. The senator told CBS earlier this year that he asked Raffensperger how the mail-in system worked in Georgia. He is adamant that the inquiry is politically motivated.
At least one of the subpoenaed, Sen. Graham, is challenging being compelled to testify. His lawyers announced Wednesday that they will resist the move they said is “all politics.”
Also subpoenaed were John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesbro, and Jenna Ellis — all were Trump advisors in the election’s wake. Another was issued to attorney and podcast host Jacki Pick Deason.
Multiple state officials have already responded to subpoenas and testified before the grand jury. But if, as former President Trump believes, the special grand jury is a witch hunt, this is likely to continue indefinitely. Witch hunts by definition do not follow rules and go wherever they please.