Fulton County, GA DA Fanni Willis is now beginning to request search warrants in the Special Grand Jury election probe, a sign that our legal analysts believe shows the investigation may be on life support
Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fanni Willis, the same DA who was recently removed from prosecuting one of the alleged ‘fake electors’ of the 2020 presidential election, because she had sponsored a fundraiser only days earlier for the campaign of his Democratic political opponent, is now seeking search warrants from the same judge that removed her from that case.
She is attempting to investigate whether former President Donald Trump and his allies broke the law trying to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, and is now seeking search warrants in the case, a sign that the wide-ranging probe has entered a new phase and is perhaps struggling to make its case to the Special Grand Jury.
The revelation came Monday in a court order filed by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury seated to help the investigation. He is the same judge who removed DA Willis from prosecuting or even questioning Republican state legislator Burt Jones after sponsoring a fundraiser for Jones's Democratic competitor only days before announcing Jones was a target of her investigation.
McBurney himself released a statement regarding the request for search warrants. In an order sealing any search warrants and related documents from being made public, McBurney wrote that District Attorney Fani Willis’ office is “now seeking to obtain and execute a series of search warrants, the affidavits for which are predicated on sensitive information acquired during the investigation.”
Disclosure of the information could compromise the investigation, McBurney wrote, “by, among other things, causing flight from prosecution, destruction of or tampering with evidence, and intimidation of potential witnesses.” It could also result in risks to the “safety and well-being” of people involved in the investigation, he wrote.
It was not clear who the targets of the search warrants are or whether any search warrants had already been approved or are likely to be approved. In the state of Georgia, as in most states and territories of the US, in order to obtain a search warrant, prosecutors must convince a judge of competent jurisdiction that they have probable cause to believe, not only that a crime occurred, but that it occurred at the location where authorities want to search.
As Willis’ investigation continues, the public court filings in the case have provided a rare window into the workings of a special grand jury which are super secretive and meet behind closed, and often locked doors.
Willis, a Democrat, opened the investigation early last year, shortly after the release of a recording of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which former President Donald Trump allegedly suggested that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump vehemently denies that interpretation of the call.
In addition to the Trump-Raffensperger call, Willis confirmed early on that she was investigating a call that Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made to Raffensperger, the sudden departure of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta in early January 2021, and statements made during legislative committee meetings by people promoting doubt on the legitimacy of the state’s election.
Court filings in recent months have also shown that Willis is interested in a slate of fake electors who signed a certificate in December 2020 falsely stating that Trump had won the state and that they were the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors, despite the fact that such electors are present in literally every state. She said in a court filing that the 16 Georgia Republicans who signed that certificate have all been notified they are targets of the investigation, meaning they could face criminal charges. One of those was the aforementioned Jones, whose case she was removed from by Judge McBurney, who cited the DA as having “A clear and undeniable bias.”
Willis’ investigation has also expanded into a breach of voting equipment at the election office in rural Georgia’s Coffee County, some 200 miles southeast of Willis’ Fulton County. A measure many legal analysts believe is also inappropriate.
Willis is also trying to pursue alleged attempts to pressure a Fulton County election worker. A petition filed last month indicates she wants to question Harrison Floyd, a director of Black Voices for Trump. Willis said in the petition that Floyd and Trevian Kutti, whom Willis described as a Chicago-based “purported publicist,” tried to pressure Ruby Freeman. Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, were election workers who were accused by Trump allies of pulling fraudulent ballots from a suitcase during ballot counting.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican who’s facing a reelection challenge from Democrat Stacey Abrams, managed to delay his testimony until after next month’s election.
Graham’s attempt to fight his subpoena is currently pending before a federal appeals court. Willis has said in a court filing that she wants to talk to Graham about calls he made to Raffensperger and his staff in which he reportedly asked about “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.” Graham has denied any wrongdoing and said his status as a senator shields him from having to testify.
A number of high-ranking Georgia state officials, including Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr, have already testified before the special grand jury. Others in Trump’s orbit who’ve undergone questioning include attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro. And the panel is still expecting testimony from others, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Willis has indicated she could seek to compel testimony from Trump himself. Though most legal experts we’ve talked to do not believe she has the authority to compel Trump to testify regarding anything he did while President of the United States. The former president has hired a legal team in Atlanta and last month disparaged the investigation as a “strictly political Witch Hunt!”
Many reports we’ve encountered also claim that the investigation is so vast and continuously growing because there is simply nothing there that is legally prosecutable, so the investigation must either expand into new arenas or fizzle and die.
Veracity Editor's Note:
This unbiased, non-satirical, fully attributed article was thoroughly researched by our team of fact-checkers and found to be accurate. The sources relied upon for the factual basis of this article were: The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, The Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, NBC News, CNN, The Associated Press, veracityreport.org, and Fox News.
More information on this and all of our stories are available on our network website veracityreport.org.
This article was compiled and written by Chief Political Correspondent Kurt Dillon – Because the Truth Matters!
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