Fulton County, Ga. is the county where Atlanta is located. It’s a reliably Democrat county, and that party has dominated much of the county’s politics in recent years. It’s also home to an ambitious district attorney who is clearly looking to make headlines for herself by convening a grand jury to investigate Donald Trump’s calls to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.
Fani Willis defeated her boss, embattled longtime Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, in the 2020 election. She was barely in office a month when she announced that she was going to investigate what she called Donald Trump’s “attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia general election.”
At particular issue is a phone call that Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the former president encouraged Raffensperger to “find votes” to push Trump over the edge.
CNN reported at the time that Willis noted that the “investigation includes, but is not limited to, potential violations of Georgia election law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office, and any involvement in violence of threats related to the election’s administration.”
Axios reports that “Willis sent a letter to Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher asking for the jury, because ‘a significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.’”
She didn’t mention Trump by name at the time; however, she said that she didn’t believe any Georgia official did anything wrong, which means that she was specifically targeting Donald Trump.
In January of this year, Willis announced her intention to form a “special grand jury” to investigate the former president. She said that the grand jury could subpoena witnesses but “will not have the authority to return an indictment but may make recommendations concerning criminal prosecution as it shall see fit.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Willis has said that the grand jury wouldn’t begin calling for witnesses until after Georgia’s May 24 primary, but jury selection began on Monday, and the grand jury will meet for up to a year.
Willis “also said her team has interviewed more than 50 people and plans to seek subpoenas for at least 30 more who declined to speak,” according to Axios Atlanta’s morning news briefing.
What does Willis think she’s going to accomplish from this grand jury? Does she think she’s actually going to be able to bring charges against Donald Trump?
In his phone call to Raffensperger, Trump was just being Trump. He wasn’t encouraging Raffensperger to cheat; he simply asked Raffensperger in his indelibly Trumpy way to make sure the secretary of state was doing all he could to make sure the election was fair. If Raffensperger magically “found” votes, then we might have had a problem.
Donald Trump was just guilty of speaking inartfully, one of the things that his detractors have always tried to use against him. He didn’t break any laws because nothing actually happened — unlike the ballot harvesting from Democrats that almost surely did take place.
In the meantime, Fani Willis is wasting tons of taxpayer money. A grand jury will meet for up to a year, tying up court resources. The Fulton County Courthouse is having to call in extra security — including road closures — as Willis impanels her headline-grabbing jury.
Additionally, even if the grand jury came back with something against Trump, Willis doesn’t have enough ammo to stave off a red wave in 2022, including in Georgia, or in 2024, even if Trump runs. At the end of the day, Willis’ grand jury theater is virtue-signaling of the highest order.