Report on 2020 US election meddling to stay sealed for now

Prosecutor indicates decision on filing charges are imminent

A Georgia prosecutor said a decision was imminent on whether Donald Trump and his allies would be charged. AP
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A Georgia special grand jury's report into whether former president Donald Trump and his allies interfered in the 2020 presidential election is to stay sealed for now as prosecutors suggest charges will be coming.

“We are asking that the report not be released, because … decisions are imminent,” said Fani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney, before Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney's decision on Tuesday.

During the hearing, Ms Willis asked Mr McBurney to keep the Georgia special grand jury's report temporarily sealed.

She said that releasing it now could be used by defendants to claim they would not be given a fair trial.

Mr Trump could be the first former president to face criminal charges.

For six months, the special grand jury investigated whether Mr Trump or his associates were part of a criminal scheme to undo the state's election results. The grand jury has recommended that the report be released.

It was convened last year in response to a call Mr Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of the defeated president's bid to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.

During the call, Mr Trump asked Mr Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes" the number needed to overturn the election.

Mr Trump has repeatedly described his conversation with Mr Raffensperger as a “perfect call”, and continues to spend his post-presidency life making false fraud accusations on the election's outcome.

Mr Raffensperger, testifying before the January 6 committee last year, said “there were no more votes to find”, after investigating every allegation made by Mr Trump and his allies.

Mr Raffensperger also testified in front of the Georgia grand jury.

IOn Monday, Mr Trump's Georgia-based legal team said the grand jury never subpoenaed the former president or asked him to appear.

“We can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump,” attorneys Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg and Jennifer Little said.

The inquiry is one of several into Mr Trump and his inner circle since he left the presidency in 2021.

Now, as he looks to reclaim the presidency in 2024, he faces investigations into his involvement in the January 6 insurrection, his organisation's business dealings, and sexual assault allegations.

Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: January 24, 2023, 11:52 PM
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