The Atlanta-area district attorney investigating former President Donald Trump and his allies is lining up witnesses to appear before a grand jury to create an account of how Trump and his supporters tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the Peach State, according to people familiar with the matter.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to spend two days presenting her case before a grand jury this week.
Willis could face several indictments as he looks into a massive racketeering case that could see Trump and several of his associates operating as a criminal enterprise in their efforts to raising election results in Georgia.
If Willis goes ahead with the racketeering charges, “I think he’s going to tell a story,” said Georgia State law professor Clark D. Cunningham. “The story of how a man at the top – the former president – arsalized an army of people to fulfill his goal of staying in power at any cost.”
Witnesses subpoenaed by Willis include former Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, former Georgia Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan and independent journalist George Chidi. All of them previously testified before a special purpose grand jury tasked with investigating Trump’s case and heard from more than 75 witnesses.
Willis launched his investigation into Trump in early 2021, shortly after he called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and pressured the Republican to “find” the votes needed for Trump to win the state of Georgia. . At a campaign event Tuesday, Trump continued to insist it was a “perfect phone call.”
His investigation continues to expand, and Willis is weighing racketeering charges in the Trump case. RICO – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – is a law that the district attorney says is used in unconventional ways to bring charges against teachers as well as musicians in the Atlanta area.
In 2015, Willis was thrust into the national spotlight as a Fulton County prosecutor when he used Georgia’s racketeering statute to charge teachers, principals and other education officials in an Atlanta Public fraud scandal. School.
After a 7-month trial, Willis secured convictions for 11 of 12 defendants charged with racketeering and other fraud-related crimes believed to date to early 2001, when scores of statewide proficiency tests begin to rise in 50,000-student school districts. .
“The reason I’m a fan of RICO is, I think juries are very, very intelligent,” Willis told reporters in 2022 at a news conference about a gang-related indictment. “They want to know what happened. They want to make an informed decision about someone’s life. And so, RICO is a tool that allows the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement to tell the whole story .
Shortly after Willis began his investigation into Trump, he retained attorney John Floyd — known for his in-depth knowledge of racketeering cases — to assist his office.
In addition to allowing prosecutors to weave a narrative, Georgia’s racketeering statute allows investigators to draw a wider range of conduct into their accusations, including activities that occurred in outside the state of Georgia but may be part of a wider conspiracy.
Those convicted of racketeering charges also face longer sentences, a point of leverage for prosecutors if they hope to dissuade potential co-conspirators or encourage defendants to take deals on request.
Read more about possible lawsuits.