By Savannah Hulsey Pointer
A judge presiding over the Fulton County special grand jury that is considering charges in connection with efforts to tamper with the outcome of the 2020 general election has ordered District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, to reply to former President Donald Trump’s petition to quash the jury’s proceedings.
On March 27, Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney instructed Willis’s office to reply to Trump’s March 20 request that “seeks the disqualification of the District Attorney’s Office from any further investigation into or prosecution of such alleged interference” by May 1.
“That response, beyond addressing the various contentions in the former president’s motion, should also include an opinion on whether the motion requires a hearing for proper resolution,” McBurney wrote in his order.
In their motion, Trump’s lawyers also requested that a report that may contain recommendations for specific charges relating to the investigation be annulled.
The special grand jury convened to help with the investigation is said to have recommended many indictments linked to conspiracy and racketeering charges, however, no defendants have been identified.
Legal challenges have bombarded the former president since declaring a 2024 presidential candidacy.
If the court grants Trump’s motion, one of the four legal challenges that call for a criminal investigation of the former president will be dismissed.
Trump’s request is an effort to end a year-long probe into claims that he and his aides meddled in the 2020 election.
The investigation was started in early 2021 and was overseen by Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia.
It was primarily concerned with a recorded phone call that took place in January 2021 between Trump and Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state of Georgia, during which the former president appeared to pressure Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn his electoral loss in Georgia.
Trump’s detractors claim that the call amounted to an attempt to sway the election. All accusations of impropriety on Trump’s behalf have been refuted.
The grand jury reportedly made recommendations for indictments in its final report before being dismissed in January.
The jury panel’s report was partially made public by the Fulton County Superior Court in early February, although it did not contain the list of people for whom charges were suggested.
It is widely believed that Willis will file accusations of election meddling against the former president.
Gary Bai contributed to this report.