Donald Trump looks set to know by Tuesday if he is to be indicted for a fourth time this year as part of a criminal investigation into his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
It has long been suggested that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will attempt to bring forward charges against the former president and several other people by mid-August, with reports that a decision could be announced by August 15.
Over the weekend, two witnesses in Willis' probe—former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and Atlanta-based journalist, George Chidi—confirmed that they were asked to testify to a grand jury early this week, in another sign that Willis will soon ask the grand jury that has been hearing evidence for the past month to vote on whether there are grounds for an indictment to be brought forward.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, has long denied any wrongdoing in connection with Willis' investigation, and has accused the prosecutor of carrying out a politically motivated "witch hunt" with her election inquiry. Trump's office has been contacted for comment via email.
Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 12, 2023. Trump is at risk of getting indicted again as a Georgia grand jury is expected to vote on whether charges could be brought forward. STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images
For more than two and a half years, Willis' office has been investigating Trump and his allies over whether they committed a crime in connection with their attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.
The investigation originally focused on Trump's January 2021 phone call with Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the former president asked him to "find" the 11,870 votes needed to beat Joe Biden at the last election.
The investigation later expanded to probe allegations of "a multi-state, coordinated plan" between Trump and his allies to influence the results of the 2020 election, including plotting to install a group of fake electors who would falsely claim that Trump had won instead of Biden.
On Sunday, CNN reported that Willis' office had obtained emails and text messages that appeared to link members of Trump's legal team, including his former attorney Rudy Giuliani, to an attempt to gain access to Coffee County's voting systems in January 2021 to try to back up the former president's false voter fraud claims.
CNN quoted an attorney for Giuliani as denying he was involved. "Rudy Giuliani had nothing to do with this," attorney Robert Costello said. Newsweek has asked Costello by email for comment.
Willis is believed to be seeking racketeering charges against Trump and several others as part of her investigation. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is commonly used in organized crime cases and allows prosecutors to charge multiple people with separate offenses if they were working towards a common goal.
Anna Bower, a Georgia-based legal reporter, posted on X, formerly Twitter, that Willis will be presenting her findings and evidence to the grand jury on Monday, with an indictment "likely" arriving by Tuesday evening.
The evidence that Willis will present while seeking an indictment will include a report previously compiled by a special grand jury earlier in the year, which recommended that several people be charged in connection with the Georgia election interference probe, without naming precisely who.
Emily Kohrs, who was part of the special grand jury, told The New York Times in February that there won't be "some giant plot twist," when asked if Trump was at risk of indictment after their findings were partially made public in a redacted report.
In a separate interview with CNN, Kohrs added: "There may be some names on that list that you wouldn't expect. But the big name that everyone keeps asking me about—I don't think you will be shocked."
A minimum of 12 members of the Fulton County grand jury—at least 16 of whom must be present—must vote that there are grounds for an indictment for charges to be brought forward. As noted by Bower, the jury must only believe there is "probable cause" that a crime has been committed, which she describes as an "extraordinarily low" standard of proof.
"It doesn't even require a showing that criminal conduct 'more likely than not' occurred," Bower posted. "In order to secure an indictment, prosecutors just need to show that there is a 'fair probability' of criminal activity."
In a post on Truth Social on Sunday, Trump denied any wrongdoing in connection to the Willis' probe while still falsely claiming voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.
"The only Election Interference that took place in Fulton County, Georgia, was done by those that Rigged and Stole the Election, not by me, who simply complained that the Election was Rigged and Stolen," Trump wrote.
"We have Massive and Conclusive Proof, if the Grand Jury would like to see it. Unfortunately, the publicity seeking D.A. isn't interested in Justice, or this evidence."