By Claire Hansen
A special grand jury investigating the 2020 election in Georgia and the efforts of former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results concluded that one or more witnesses lied during their testimony, according to parts of the jurors’ final report released Thursday by a Fulton County judge.
The sections of the final report released were extremely limited and included only the introduction, conclusion and a short section addressing the perjury concerns.
The information made public notably did not identify any witnesses by name, nor did it appear to directly address isolated efforts to alter the election results.
“A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it. The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling,” the published portion states.
The jurors also concluded that no “widespread” fraud took place during the election, as Trump and his allies have long claimed.
“The Grandy Jury heard extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud from poll workers, investigators, technical experts, and State of Georgia employees and officials, as well as from persons still claiming that such fraud took place,” the report says. “We find by unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.”
At the direction of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, the vast majority of the jurors’ final report remains under seal as prosecutors weigh charging decisions in the probe, including “a roster of who should (or should not) be indicted, and for what, in relation to the conduct (and aftermath) of the 2020 general election in Georgia.”
McBurney said that releasing the full report would violate the rights of “potential future defendants.”
During a hearing last month concerning the report’s potential publication, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis urged McBurney to keep the report under wraps, stating that charging decisions in the investigation were “imminent.”
According to the limited sections released Thursday, jurors heard testimony from 75 witnesses.
Those witnesses included high-profile figures and Trump allies such as Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and others. Trump’s lawyers have said that Trump was not called to give testimony to the special grand jury.
The grand jury did not have the authority to issue indictments, and Willis is not obligated to act on the grand jury’s findings.
The probe into Trump and his allies’ actions regarding the election began soon after Trump called Raffensberger in January 2021 and asked him to “find” the votes needed for him to win.
The investigation included that phone call but expanded to examine other efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the state’s election results, including the actions of 16 Georgia Republicans who participated in a false-elector scheme. Trump lost to Biden by about 12,000 votes in Georgia, which proved to be a critical swing state.
Despite the fact that the released portions of the jurors’ report rebuff Trump’s claim of widespread voter fraud – and do not appear to address efforts by him or other individual actors to interfere – Trump heralded the report as a “total exoneration.”
“The long awaited important sections of the Georgia report, which do not even mention President Trump’s name, have nothing to do with the President because President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong. The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do – in fact, as President, it was President Trump’s Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity,” Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social.
“Thank you to the Special Grand Jury in the Great State of Georgia for your Patriotism & Courage. Total exoneration. The USA is very proud of you!!!” He said.
The election investigation comes amid a backdrop of several others into Trump and the 2020 election. The Justice Department in a probe led by special counsel Jack Smith is looking into Trump and his allies’ potential involvement in the 2021 insurrection at the Capitol as well as Trump’s handling of classified documents after he left office.
Late last year, a House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection voted to refer former President Donald Trump and his allies to the Justice Department for criminal charges.
Trump has continued to promote the conspiracy that the 2020 election was illegitimate and that widespread voter fraud took place. He has described the myriad investigations into him as political “witch hunts.”
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