May 24. 2024. 5:31

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Georgia jury investigating Trump election antics urges perjury prosecutions

A special grand jury in Georgia that has been investigating whether former US president Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn to 2020 election result, has urged that some witnesses be prosecuted for perjury.

A redacted report by the jury released by a Georgia judge on Thursday 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 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”.

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The jury also expressed the belief that some people who gave evidence to it should face charges for telling lies.

“A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it. The grand jury recommends that the district attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling,” the report said.

Parts of the special grand jury report were released by a court in Atlanta on Thursday, after Fulton County superior court judge Robert McBurney ordered earlier this week that it be released in redacted form, including the introduction and conclusion and a section detailing concerns about witnesses lying under oath.

As had been anticipated the parts of the report released on Thursday, which run to just six pages, did not mention the names of anyone that the jury believed should be indicted or not indicted.

Special grand juries cannot issue indictments, but they can recommend whether criminal charges should be sought.

Charges

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 local district attorney has yet to decide on whether to bring charges arising from the investigation into the actions of Mr Trump and his supporters following the presidential election in November 2020.

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 his opponent, Joe Biden, had in the state.

Another part of the investigation focused on allegations that attempts were made to manipulate the US electoral college system that, 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.

Those individuals met in secret in Georgia’s capital and signed documents that claimed they were the “duly elected and qualified electors”, even though they were not.