March 4. 2024. 6:37

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Investigator tantalises media over Trump’s alleged election interference

A remarkable series of interviews by the chairwoman of the special grand jury in the US state of Georgia, which has been investigating alleged efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election, has given the first hints of what it has concluded.

Emily Kohrs told a number of media outlets in the US that the panel has recommended indictments for multiple people on a range of charges. “It is not a short list,” she said.

The special grand jury’s report is still largely under wraps, although some elements were released by a court in Georgia last week. The big question in American politics is whether the special grand jury has recommended whether Trump should face charges.

Ms Kohrs, in her interviews did not identify anyone in particular who the panel has urged should be prosecuted.

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However, she said cryptically in one interview with CNN: “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect. But the big name that everyone keeps asking me about – I don’t think you will be shocked.”

Parts of the report published last week showed the special grand jury had urged that some witnesses be prosecuted for perjury.

[ Georgia jury investigating Trump election antics urges perjury prosecutions ]

The panel rejected claims by Mr Trump and his supporters that the election was stolen from him.

The report said the jury had heard “extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud” from poll workers, technical experts, state officials and investigators, as well as from those claiming that the election had been rigged.

It also said the grand jury voted unanimously “that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election”.

The special grand jury may have made recommendations that certain people be prosecuted, but it does not mean that this will happen. Special grand juries in Georgia do not have powers to issue indictments.

Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County in Georgia who has led the investigation, will ultimately have to decide what charges, if any, to bring before a regular grand jury.

The investigation in Georgia has been seen as one of the most significant legal threats facing Mr Trump.

The special grand jury in the Trump case, which was dissolved in January, heard months of private testimony from dozens of the former president’s allies, as well as state officials and other witnesses.

The big name that everyone keeps asking me about – I don’t think you will be shocked

A key part of the investigation centred on the infamous call by Mr Trump on January 2nd, 2021, in which he told Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger that he needed to “find” 11,780 votes. This was the number of votes he needed to overcome the lead that his opponent, Joe Biden, had in the state.

Ms Kohrs suggested the special grand jury may have heard about another call made by Mr Trump in relation to the election.

Another part of the investigation focused on allegations that attempts were made to manipulate the US electoral college system which, under law, determines who wins a presidential election.

The investigation in Georgia also looked at claims regarding the recruitment of a slate of bogus presidential electors in the weeks after the 2020 election.