Witnesses "may have lied under oath" to a Georgia special grand jury investigating Trump's efforts to overturn election results.
A judge said he'll release a portion of a secret report detailing the special grand jury's findings.
Three portions of the report will be unsealed on Thursday, the judge said.
A Georgia special grand jury that investigated Donald Trump's efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss believes witnesses "may have lied under oath" while testifying, according to a judge who ordered the release of parts of its report.
On Monday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered the release of portions of a special grand jury report, including a section "in which the special purpose grand jury discuss its concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath."
McBurney said three portions of the report would be made public on Thursday, February 16, giving the Fulton County district attorney's office time to discuss redactions. Willis said she does not plan to appeal the judge's order.
The special grand jury was empaneled throughout much of the second half of last year and heard evidence regarding Trump's efforts to pressure Georgia officials to "find" votes that would reverse his loss to now-President Joe Biden in the state. Hearing evidence brought by the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the special grand jury also investigated an effort to send fake electors to Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, and falsely declare Trump the victor in the state's presidential contest.
In January, the special grand jury completed a report summarizing its findings. According to McBurney's order published Monday, it includes "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."
That report is now in the possession of Willis, who has the job of deciding whether to refer it to a regular grand jury, which can bring criminal charges in the investigation.
A group of journalism organizations sought to have the special grand jury report made public, arguing its contents were in the public interest and that it was technically a court document in the public record. But Willis argued in an extraordinary hearing in an Atlanta courtroom in late January that its contents should be kept under wraps.
In a decision published Monday morning, McBurney sided mostly with Willis, finding that releasing the entire report's contents before Willis completes her investigation would impede on the due-process rights of various witnesses.
McBurney did, however, order the release of three parts of the special grand jury report he said were "ripe for publication," even if Willis wanted them to be kept under lock and key.
"While publication may not be convenient for the pacing of the District Attorney's investigation, the compelling public interest in these proceedings and the unquestionable value and importance of transparency require their release," McBurney wrote.
Those three portions, McBurney wrote, include the report's introduction, conclusion, and a section where the special grand jury discusses whether witnesses lied under oath.
For her investigation, Willis fought high-profile court battles to subpoena figures to testify, including Mark Meadows, Trump's chief-of-staff at the time; Gov. Brian Kemp; Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger; the state's Republican Party chairman, David Shafer; Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; and more than a dozen others who spoke with Trump at the time. The case had 75 witnesses overall.
In his decision Monday, McBurney said the argument for releasing the entire report to the public may be on stronger ground after the district attorney's office brings indictments, at which point the report may be considered an ordinary court record like a wiretap application.
"When the criminal investigation is complete and an indictment has been obtained, the wiretap application and the search warrant affidavit do become part of the court record through discovery and pre-trial litigation," McBurney wrote in a footnote. "At that point the public's right of access accrues. The special purpose grand jury's final report is no different.
Stranger-Sun on February 13rd, 2023 at 17:52 UTC »
Please let it be Lindsey. Please let it be Lindsey. Please let it be Lindsey.
old-hand-2 on February 13rd, 2023 at 17:43 UTC »
Punish the liars. Make them an example for every person who testifies under oath.
gentlemantroglodyte on February 13rd, 2023 at 17:28 UTC »
It seems dumb to lie under oath, unless the consequences for lying were less than the consequences for telling the truth.