Activists hope 'justice will ultimately be served' after Fulton County subpoenas key Trump allies
The head of Common Cause Georgia on Wednesday welcomed the news that a Fulton County special grand jury investigating 2020 election interference subpoenaed seven key allies of former President Donald Trump.
"The coordinated attempts by former President Donald Trump and his associates to discount and ignore the will of Georgian voters during the 2020 election cannot be swept under the rug," said Aunna Dennis, the advocacy group's executive director, in a statement.
"That's why I am encouraged that the Fulton County grand jury is continuing their necessary work to uncover the truth of what happened by calling on those who perpetrated Trump's Big Lie to testify," she added, referencing the former president's false claim—frequently repeated by his allies—that the election was stolen from him.
As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported, the subpoenas target U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) along with attorneys Kenneth Chesebro, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Rudy Giuliani, Cleta Mitchell, and Jacki Pick Deason.
According to the newspaper:
The subpoenas were filed July 5 and signed by Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the special grand jury. They noted that all seven people were "a necessary and material witness" to the investigation.
Unlike subpoenas issued to Georgians, the summons required McBurney's blessing since they are for people who reside outside the state.
The 23-person special grand jury has heard testimony in recent weeks from a parade of witnesses, including some who had direct contact with Trump and his associates in late 2020 and early 2021. But Tuesday's subpoenas are the closest jurors have gotten to the Trump campaign or inner circle of the former president.
Common Cause Georgia's leader asserted Wednesday that the state, widely known for its voter suppression efforts in recent years, "cannot continue to be the testing grounds for sensationalized propaganda attempts that are designed to deter voters from the ballot box."
"We need to know those who broke our laws in their dangerous attempts to hold on to power be held accountable," she continued. "The transparency in this investigation into potential criminal misdeeds has bolstered my hopes that justice will ultimately be served."
"Our democracy," Dennis declared, "is dependent upon all of us in Georgia participating in the election process, and by knowing that voters' choices will be respected and accepted going forward."
Fani Willis, the Democratic district attorney in Fulton County, launched a probe after an infamous January 2, 2021 phone call in which Trump asked Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" over 11,000 votes to reverse the state's 2020 presidential election results.
In her first public comments since the subpoenas, Willis told NBC News on Wednesday that more subpoenas targeting members of Trump's inner circle are coming. Asked whether that will include the former president, she replied that "anything is possible."
"We'll just have to see where the investigation leads us," Willis said. "I think that people thought that we came into this as some kind of game. This is not a game at all. What I am doing is very serious. It's very important work. And we're going to do our due diligence and making sure that we look at all aspects of the case."
Willis convened the special grand jury in May and its work can continue for up to a year. The DA said Wednesday that she will pause the probe's activities in October, when early voting begins in Georgia, to avoid any appearance of election interference.
Graham on Wednesday announced in a statement from his attorneys that he plans to challenge the subpoena in court and accused the Fulton County investigators of engaging in "a fishing expedition and working in concert" with the congressional committee probing a pro-Trump mob's January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
\u201cIf Graham truly is merely a witness he has no basis to refuse to request. Nothing about the constitution allows members to witness crimes and keep quiet about it\u201d— Jon Walker (@Jon Walker) 1657120918
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who was subpoenaed by the January 6 panel last month, has reached a deal with the committee to "sit for a videotaped, transcribed interview" on Friday, rather than testifying publicly.
According to an email reviewed by the Times, the interview can include his account of the events on January 6 as well as discussions of a meeting with Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, Trump's interactions with Eastman, and any contact with members of Congress.
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