Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump reveals new details of active probe

“It is unfathomable how Ms. Debrow could offer competent and adequate counsel to her client who has been charged with other crimes,” Willis said in the filing.

It’s the first whisper from Willis about the investigation since January, when she described charging decisions in the probe as “imminent.” Her comments at the time followed the conclusion of a special grand jury investigation into Trump and his attempt to sway the election results. While the special grand jury recommended criminal charges against an untold number of people whose identities remain secret, the commission did not have the authority to bring charges on its own. Instead, Willis must present evidence to a traditional grand jury to file formal charges, which may or may not be consistent with the special grand jury’s recommendations.

The special grand jury investigation of Willis dragged on for nearly a year as it brought in numerous figures from Trump’s inner circle, suggesting that its investigation went beyond immediate allegations of potential violations of Georgia election law that Trump may have committed. She has fought some of those witnesses — from Sen. Lindsey Graham to former chief of staff Mark Meadows to former national security adviser Mike Flynn to Rudy Giuliani — in state and federal courts to secure their testimony. Willis is particularly interested in Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which he urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the election.

Willis’ concerns about the legal representation of fraudulent voters are not new. She raised the alarm in November that some of them may have varying degrees of legal exposure and may be called to testify against each other or otherwise have interests that would require separate representation. At the time, the judge overseeing the matter, Robert McBurney, allowed 10 of the voters to remain represented by one attorney. But he agreed to request that another, Georgia GOP Chairman David Shaffer, get separate representation because his degree of criminal exposure seemed greater than the others.

Fake voters have been a key aspect of Trump’s bid to stay in power despite losing the 2020 election. With a caucus of pro-Trump voters convening in several states Trump lost, his allies pointed to “competing” groups of voters, to argue that Congress or then-Vice President Mike Pence must choose between them on Jan. 6, 2021, when lawmakers meet to count electoral votes and finalize election results. Challenges by Trump’s allies in Congress failed, and Pence eventually rejected Trump’s repeated insistence that he had the power to stop the certification himself, ending Trump’s latest attempt to stay in power.

Many of the fake Republican voters were party activists or chairmen in those states and helped convene Republican voters in December, when Biden’s certified voters also gathered to formalize his victory in those states. Fake voters in at least five of the states won by Biden — including Georgia — signed affidavits claiming to be the legitimate presidential electors from those states. Although many of the fake voters said they were not told they would become components of Trump’s Jan. 6 plans — only that their actions were necessary to preserve legal challenges — others were more closely tied to figures from Trump’s inner circle.

Many of them have already been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors, who are also investigating Trump’s election gambit, and dozens of them were subpoenaed and testified before the select committee on Jan. 6.

Trump has already been indicted in New York for alleged crimes related to secret cash payments and cover-up of an affair just before the 2016 election. But the Fulton County investigation and the federal investigation could pose more acute legal threats in the long run as prosecutors are nearing final decisions on charges.

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