The forewoman of the Georgia special grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump and his allies' efforts to overturn the 2020 election said Tuesday that it recommend multiple indictments and suggested “the big name” could be on the list.
What You Need To Know
- The forewoman of the Georgia special grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election said Tuesday that it recommend multiple indictments and suggested “the big name” could be on the list
- In their partially released final report, the grand jurors said they believe “one or more witnesses” committed perjury during their seven-month investigation and urged Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to “seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling"
- Asked by CNN if the special grand jury believed perjury was the main crime committed, forewoman Emily Kohrs responded, “I wouldn’t say that"
- In a post on Truth Social last week, the former president falsely claimed the special grand jury’s report had given him “Total exoneration"
The grand jury’s final report was partially released last week. In it, the grand jurors said they believe “one or more witnesses” committed perjury during their seven-month investigation and urged Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to “seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”
The grand jury unanimously agreed there was no evidence of widespread fraud in Georgia’s election, as Trump has repeatedly claimed.
“There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect,” Emily Kohrs, the forewoman, told CNN on Tuesday of the recommended indictments. “But the big name that everyone keeps asking me about — I don’t think you will be shocked.”
In a separate interview with The New York Times, Kohrs said: “It is not going to be some giant plot twist,” adding, “You probably have a fair idea of what may be in there.”
Asked by CNN if the special grand jury, which completed its work last month, believed perjury was the main crime committed, Kohrs responded, “I wouldn’t say that.”
She explained the perjury allegations were included in the unsealed portion of the report because they were “less pointed.” The sections released to the public did not name anyone the grand jury suspected of crimes.
The special grand jury did not have indictment powers. Willis will decide whether to bring any of the recommended charges to a regular grand jury.
Trump was not among the 75 witnesses who testified, meaning that if the special grand jury recommended any indictments against him, they would not include perjury.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney has not barred grand jurors from speaking publicly about the proceedings, but he advised them on what they could and could not share, including not discussing the jury’s deliberations.
A focal point of the investigation was Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which he pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the 11,780 votes he needed to win the state.
But Kohrs told CNN grand jurors heard other phone calls, too, including at least one other involving Trump.
Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, has insisted he “did absolutely nothing wrong” in Georgia and that his phone call with Raffensperger was “perfect.” In a post on Truth Social last week, the former president falsely claimed the special grand jury’s report had given him “Total exoneration.”
“I'm not positive he read the right document,” Kohrs told CNN when asked about Trump’s response.
Kohrs told The New York Times grand jurors also looked into a plot to put forth a slate of bogus presidential electors and hearings orchestrated by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others promoting false election fraud claims to state lawmakers.
Among the witnesses who testified before the special grand jury, Kohrs said in interviews, were Raffensperger; Giuliani; former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Marc Short, who was Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff; former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson; Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and an executive for Dominion Voting Systems.
Kohrs declined to tell CNN exactly how many indictments the grand jury recommended, but she said she believes it is more than 12.
“Can you imagine doing this for eight months and not coming out with a whole list” of recommended indictments, she said. “It’s not a short list. It’s not.”
Kohrs said she’d be “sad” and “frustrated” if Willis does not seek any charges.
“This was too much. Too much information, too much of my time, too much of everyone's time, too much of their time, too much argument in court about getting people to appear before us,” Kohrs said. “There was just too much for this to just be, ‘Oh, OK, we're good. Bye.’”
The 30-year-old forewoman also pushed back against any suggestion the investigation was politically motivated.
“They chose to get a random sampling of the population of the area,” said Kohrs, who did not vote in the 2020 election. “And I think that speaks really strongly to them trying to avoid bias in any way and trying to avoid politics.”
A special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, Jack Smith, is also investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election as well as hundreds of classified documents found at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.