Judge orders release of parts of Georgia grand jury report on Trump's post-election conduct

February 14, 2023 10:00 am

A Georgia judge on Monday ordered the release of parts of a special grand jury’s report on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election, but said that most of the report will remain under wraps for now.

Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney largely ruled against media organizations who sought to make the report public, writing that all but three sections should remain undisclosed until Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation is complete.

He said the introduction, conclusion and a section in which the grand jury “discusses its concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony” should be released.

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“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.

He ordered the district attorney to unveil those three sections on Thursday. The district attorney’s office has the only copy of the report.

Attorneys for a broad coalition of media organizations, including CBS News, argued in court on Jan. 24 for the entire report to be made public, saying “the public interest in the report is extraordinary.”

Willis, describing herself then as “one of the few people to have had the opportunity to read the report,” told the judge that releasing it “at this time” would be inappropriate.

“We are asking that this report not be released, because, you having seen that report, decisions are imminent,” Willis said.
Her office has not said when, or if, charges are forthcoming.

The grand jury, a 23-person panel of Georgians with three alternates, interviewed 75 witnesses while probing efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the presidential election.

They served as an investigatory body that could recommend charges but could not indict. They recommended in their report that it be released, according to McBurney.

The grand jury “provided the District Attorney with exactly what she requested: 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 wrote.

Willis’ office has indicated in court filings that others have faced scrutiny in the probe, including a group of 16 Georgia Republicans who participated in an alternate elector scheme and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.