Sunday, June 23, 2024

Trump Lawyers Slam Ga. Probe after Media Blitz by Unhinged Grand-Jury Foreman

'She’s a product of a circus that cloaked itself as a special purpose grand jury...'

(Headline USA) Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers in Georgia are criticizing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s politically motivated investigation into efforts to challenge the 2020 election results after the unhinged foreperson of the special grand jury went public this week.

Emily Kohrs first spoke out in an interview published Tuesday by the Associated Press, a story that was followed by interviews in other print and television news outlets.

She described some of what happened behind the closed doors of the jury room—including how some witnesses behaved, how prosecutors interacted with witnesses and how some witnesses invoked their rights not to answer certain questions.

Trump attorneys Drew Findling and Jennifer Little said that despite having concerns about the panel’s proceedings from the start, they kept quiet out of respect for the grand jury process. But they said revelations offered by Kohrs this week compelled them to speak up.

“The end product is the reliability of anything that has taken place in there is completely tainted and called into question,” Findling said in an interview with the AP on Wednesday evening. He said he held “no chagrin for a 30-year-old foreperson” who was part of “a failed system.”

“She’s a product of a circus that cloaked itself as a special purpose grand jury,” he said.

Findling and Little said they are on top of all the legal issues in the case and are keeping their options open. They had not filed anything by Thursday morning.

The special grand jury was impaneled at the request of Willis, who won election in the minority and Democrat-heavy district based on her promises to target the former president.

The panel did not have the power to indict but instead could offer recommendations for Willis, who will ultimately decide whether to seek indictments from a regular grand jury.

Willis herself has since been the subject of considerable scrutiny for her unethical conduct, including her efforts to investigate at least one Republican lawmaker after participating in campaign fundraisers for his opponent.

The D.A.’s office has declined to comment on Kohrs’s media appearances, other than to say they weren’t aware ahead of time that she planned to give interviews. Spokesperson Jeff DiSantis also declined Thursday to comment on Findling’s and Little’s comments.

Findling and Little expressed concern that the special grand jury, which they said was supposed to base its recommendations to the district attorney on evidence and testimony presented in the jury room, was allowed to watch and read news coverage of the case and was aware of some witnesses’ efforts not to testify.

Kohrs said prosecutors told the jurors they could read and watch the news but urged them to keep an open mind.

Kohrs also shared numerous anecdotes from the proceedings that she found amusing and was very expressive in television interviews, sometimes laughing or making faces.

Findling and Little said the district attorney’s office, which was advising the special grand jury, should have done a better job of educating the grand jurors about the solemnity of the process and the rules and limitations.

“It’s not a joking matter,” Findling said. “It’s not a matter for giggles. It’s not a matter for smiles.”

Trump himself lashed out in a post on his social media network Wednesday, calling the Georgia investigation “ridiculous, a strictly political continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time.”

He expressed dismay at Kohrs “going around and doing a Media Tour revealing, incredibly, the Grand Jury’s inner workings & thoughts.”

Though Kohrs did not publicly name any individuals the special grand jury recommended for possible indictment, Findling and Little said she seemed to implicate Trump in response to media questions about indictments.

That’s a problem, Findling said, because they have examined the evidence and remain convinced that “our client did not break any law at all.”

The Trump lawyers also said that this situation could have been avoided if the judge had instructed special grand jury members not to speak to news outlets until after the panel’s full final report is made public. Several parts of the report were released last week, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said any section that recommended specific charges for specific people would remain secret for now.

McBurney, like Willis and Kohrs, has also been criticized for his own showboating, including his recent assertion in an unrelated case that he alone had the authority to decide how to interpret the state’s recently passed abortion law.

In the federal system, grand jurors are prohibited from talking about what witnesses said or anything that happened in the room. But the oath taken by grand jurors in Georgia only says they cannot talk about their deliberations.

The grand jury was dissolved on Jan. 9, and McBurney told the AP that he later met with grand jurors to discuss where things stood. He said he provided them with the “rules of the road” of what they were legally allowed and not allowed to discuss publicly.

He said they could discuss what witnesses said and what is in the report but could not talk about deliberations because that’s what their oath said.

Little said she believes some of the things Kohrs discussed in interviews were part of deliberations, including when she talked about decisions to recommend multiple indictments and the reasons why the grand jurors did not seek to bring Trump in to testify.

Willis has said since the beginning of the investigation two years ago that she was interested in a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which Trump suggested to Georgia’s RINO secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, that he could “find” the votes needed to overturn Trump’s loss to Biden in the state.

“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during that call.

The context of the line came after Trump noted that widespread reports of voting irregularities in Fulton and other blue-run counties could yield hundreds of thousands of invalid ballots but that it wasn’t necessary for Raffensperger to investigate them all.

Much of that evidence has since been confirmed by watchdog groups—including True the Vote, which gathered video footage of illegal ballot harvesting in its bombshell documentary 2,000 Mules.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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