DA in Georgia Investigating Trump Says Any Charges Will Be Announced This Summer

ATLANTA — The prosecutor leading the investigation into former President Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia said Monday he intends to announce any charges by mid-July, according to a letter he sent to local law enforcement. official.

In the the letterFani T. Willis, district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., said any charges will be filed during the trial period, which runs from July 11 to September 1.

In January, Ms. Willis said that a charge in the investigation was “imminent”. But his schedule has been pushed back, partly because witnesses are trying to co-operate as the investigation draws to a close. Local law enforcement also needs time to prepare for potential security threats, which Ms. emphasized. Willis in the letter.

Complicating matters further, Ms. Willis filed a motion last week seeking the removal of an attorney representing 10 Republicans who were part of a phony electorate trying to help Trump stay in power even after he lost the 2020 election in Georgia.

“In the near future, I will be announcing a decision to fill in the results of an investigation my office has conducted into possible criminal interference in the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election,” Ms. Willis in a letter sent to sheriff Fulton. County, Patrick Labat, and then first time reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I am providing this letter to convey to you the need for increased security and preparedness in the coming months because of this pending announcement.”

Ms.'s office Willis has spent more than two years investigating whether the former president and his allies illegally meddled in the 2020 Georgia election, in which Trump narrowly lost to President Biden.

The special jury that heard evidence in the case for roughly seven months recommended more than a dozen people for indictment, and its foreman pointedly hinted in an interview with The New York Times in February that Trump was among them.

In the end, it was up to Ms. Willis to decide which charges should go before a regular grand jury. His letter, which was copied to local officials, expressed deep concern about the safety of the courthouse after his decision was announced.

“Open source intelligence has indicated the announcement of a decision in this case could trigger significant public backlash,” Ms. Willis. “We have seen in recent years that some may come out of the public expression of opinion protected by the First Amendment to engage in acts of violence that will endanger the safety of our community. As leaders, it is our duty to prepare ourselves.”

Security has been a concern of Ms. Willis for a time, and he had several members of his staff equipped with bulletproof vests. He wrote a letter to the field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Atlanta in early 2022, months before the special grand jury began meeting to consider evidence and hear testimony in the case.

In the letter, Ms. Willis requested that the FBI conduct a risk assessment of the county courthouse in downtown Atlanta and “provide protection resources to include federal and intelligence agencies.”

Miss Willis also noted in the FBI letter that Mr. Trump, at a rally in Conroe, Texas, had called the prosecutors investigating him “atrocious and terrible people,” and said he hoped “we will have in this country the biggest protest yet.” what we have done in Washington, DC, in New York, in Atlanta, and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt.”

Ms. Willis wrote that Mr. Trump had said at the same event that if re-elected, he might pardon those convicted of crimes related to the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. Armed pro-Trump protesters appeared around the Georgia State Capitol building several times in the weeks following the 2020 election, as Trump and his allies made false allegations of election fraud. On at least one occasion, armed the protesters also took to the streets.

On January 6, 2021, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of Georgia and his staff evacuated their offices at the State Capitol over concerns about a group of pro-Trump protesters, some armed with long guns, who mass outside. Mr Trump previously called Mr Raffensperger an “enemy of the people” for what Mr Trump characterized as his mishandling of the Georgia election process.

“We must work together to keep the public safe and ensure that we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta like the one in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Ms. Willis to the FBI

Last month, Trump's Georgia legal team filed a motion to overturn the special grand jury's final report. Part of the report, which is still sealed, recommends indicting people who have not been named. The motion also requests that the office of Ms. Willis was disqualified from the case.

In a statement on Monday, the lawyers reiterated that they believe the investigation has so far been a “highly flawed legal process.”

Richard Fausset reported from Atlanta, and Danny Hakim from New York.