Georgia prosecutor signals charges in 2020 election inquiry may come end of July
"Fani Willis prepared her team for remote work during that time, expected to be the window for indictments
The Fulton county district attorney investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia signalled Thursday that charging decisions in the case may come starting the final week of July, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The indication from the prosecutor, Fani Willis, first came during a meeting with her full team where she told them to make preparations to work remotely during the final week of July and through the first weeks of August, the people said.
Willis made no explicit mention of Trump during the meeting, but the specific timing is understood to reflect the expected window for indictments after previous indications suggested charging decisions would come during the court term that runs July to September.
The district attorney’s office hours later told the county superior court chief judge Ural Glanville asking judges not to schedule trials and in-person hearings from 31 July to 18 August because most of her staff would be remote in a letter seen by the Guardian and first reported by the New York Times.
A spokesperson for Willis did not respond to a request for comment.
The district attorney’s office has spent more than two years investigating whether Trump and his allies interfered in the 2020 election in Georgia, while prosecutors at the federal level are scrutinizing Trump’s efforts to reverse his defeat that culminated in the January 6 Capitol attack.
A special grand jury in Atlanta that heard evidence for roughly seven months recommended charges for more than a dozen people including the former president himself, its forewoman strongly suggested in interviews, though Willis will have to seek indictments from a regular grand jury.
Willis originally suggested charging decisions were “imminent” in January, but the timetable has been repeatedly delayed after a number of Republicans who sought to help Trump stay in power as so-called fake electors accepted immunity deals as the investigation neared its end.
Prosecutors then also spent several weeks on a potential conflict issue resulting from the fact that not all of the fake electors defended by lawyer Kimberly Debrow were offered immunity deals. The dispute resolved itself last week after the fake elector without a deal found a new lawyer.
The meeting on Thursday afternoon appears to have been convened in part to give staff a more specific window for when indictments could arrive after Willis outlined her prosecutorial intentions in the case in a letter to the Fulton county sheriff Patrick Labat last month.
“In the near future, I will announce charging decisions,” Willis wrote in the letter. “I am providing this letter to bring to your attention the need for heightened security and preparedness in coming months due to this pending announcement.”
Trump is understood to have two main areas of legal jeopardy in Georgia: the calls he made to officials like the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in an effort to reverse his election defeat in the weeks after the 2020 election, as well as his role in assembling the fake electors.
But at the heart of the investigation are the steps that Trump and his campaign aides took – knowing it was probably illegal – in assembling 16 pro-Trump electors to surreptitiously gain entry to the Georgia state capitol and submit unauthorized electoral college votes for Trump to Congress."