Trump news – live: Trump responds to Georgia grand jury report as it seeks charges against unnamed witnesses

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The grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia has released some of its findings.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had ordered the release of the report’s introduction, conclusion and concerns the jury had about witnesses lying under oath. The report recommends indictments for any witnesses who allegedly committed perjury before the panel.

The report is the result of a two-year investigation into the actions of Mr Trump and his campaign back in 2020 when the one-term president lost the state to President Joe Biden.

Infamously, Mr Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 asking him to “find” enough votes to swing the election in his favour.

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The release of the probe’s findings comes as it emerged that Mr Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been subpoenaed by the special counsel investigating the former president’s role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

A source told CNN that Mr Meadows received the subpoena last month, the latest sign that special counsel Jack Smith is ramping up his investigation into the former president.


VOICES – The grand jury report proved what everyone – including Trump – already knew

The release of some of the evidence heard by a Georgia grand jury investigating the actions of Trump and others, came to the same conclusion as the committee investigating January 6, that there was no election fraud, writes The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe.

The point seems crucial, but one that is often overlooked. Parts of the media have for the past two years claimed “Trump believed there was voter fraud”. But that is not the case; Trump may have claimed – contrary to all the evidence – that there was voter fraud. But it is a different thing to say that he or his top aides believed their own lies.

Read on in The Independent’s Voices section:

John Bowden16 February 2023 21:00

Nikki Haley’s bid might not hurt Trump, but it could be fatal to Ron DeSantis

Former South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley’s entrance into the 2024 presidential race isn’t bad news for her former boss, Donald Trump, who is currently the only other prominent announced candidate.

Instead, it’s a bad sign for Florida Gov Ron DeSantis, who is already presumed to be the popular anti-Trump alternative for the contest even though he remains publicly vague about whether he will run, writes The Independent’s Eric Garcia.

Read more:

John Bowden16 February 2023 20:15

Grand jury recommends perjury indictment(s)

The most important information included in Thursday’s report: One or more witnesses were suspected of lying to the grand jury.

What does this mean? In public statements, District Attorney Fani Williams has indicated that the grand jury recommended more than one indictment.

A number of Mr Trump’s lawyers including John Eastman, currently facing an effort by the California State Bar to punish him as well, could be targeted with indictments for lying under oath. But there’s no information about what specifically the witness or witnesses in question lied about, nor any recommendations for crimes actually related to an effort to overturn the results.

Read more:

John Bowden16 February 2023 19:45

Who is Fani Willis, the Georgia prosecutor who could take down Trump?

A phone call between Mr Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger was published by The Washington Post late at night on 3 January, 2021.

Hours later, Fani Willis would walk into her first day on the job as Fulton County’s district attorney, an office that is now spearheading a criminal investigation into Mr Trump, with the phone call serving as a central damning piece of evidence against him.

The closely watched case against the former president could result in racketeering charges similar to those that Ms Willis has made a career out of bringing against dozens of others.

Alex Woodward profiles Fulton County’s top law enforcement official for The Independent:

John Bowden16 February 2023 19:15

Proud Boys lawyers seek Trump testimony at trial

Lawyers representing the Proud Boys members on trial in Washington DC have requested former President Donald Trump give testimony in the case. Needless to say, the request is unlikely to be accommodated.

David Taintor16 February 2023 19:12

No widespread fraud in Georgia

More than two years since voters in Georgia decided to serve Mr Trump an upset defeat, his allies are still claiming that the 2020 election was rigged in states across the country, including Georgia.

But they had their shot – once again – to prove their case before Fulton County’s grand jury, and it didn’t go so well, according to portion of the report released on Thursday.

“The Grand jury heard extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud from poll workers, investigators, technical experts, and State of Georgia employees and officials, as well as from persons still claiming that such fraud took place. We find by unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election,” reads the report.

John Bowden16 February 2023 18:45

The Georgia phone call that could bring down Donald Trump: ‘I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break’

By the end of 2024, Donald Trump could be facing two very different prospects: he could be sitting in the White House – or a Georgia prison.

That’s because, since February 2021, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating the former president’s attempts to influence the state’s election results. In January, a grand jury convened by Ms Willis concluded its work, leaving the prosecutor in the unprecedented position of deciding whether Donald Trump will be the first former president in US history to be prosecuted for a criminal offence.

On Thursday, portions of the grand jury’s work became public, offering new clues about the former president’s fate in Georgia.

Read more on the backstory of the phone call below:

Josh Marcus16 February 2023 18:43

Trump responds to Georgia grand jury report

Donald Trump has responded to the partial release of the Fulton County grand jury report, which recommended that one or more witnesses be charged with perjury.

In a statement, he repeated his long-held belief that he committed no crimes when he repeatedly asked Georgia’s secretary of State to “find” nearly 12,000 votes in his name.

“The long awaited important sections of the Georgia report, which do not even mention President Trump’s name, have nothing to do with the President because President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong,” reads the statement from his office.

“The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do – in fact, as President, it was President Trump’s Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity. Between the two calls, there were many officials and attorneys on the line, including the Secretary of State of Georgia, and no one objected, even slightly protested, or hung up. President Trump will always keep fighting for true and honest elections in America!” it continued.

John Bowden16 February 2023 17:49

Four key takeaways from the partial release of Fulton County grand jury report

Fulton County’s grand jury investigation into Donald Trump and his legal team’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has concluded with recommendations for perjury charges against one or more witnesses who submitted testimony.

The nine-page document has been long awaited in the world of politics as it was set to be the first sign of whether Donald Trump and his allies will face serious legal consequences for attempts to overturn the election results in the key state.

Thursday’s release is likely to be the entirety of the document that will see the light of day; a judge has ruled that Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis is not required to release the full document. There are key omissions from the document, and, notably, prosecutors are not actually bound to follow the recommendations from the grand jury.

Dive into the report below:

John Bowden16 February 2023 17:25

Trump slurs Letitia James as ‘racist in reverse’ and attacks her for NRA suit

Donald Trump turned his fire (once again) on New York’s attorney general in a Truth Social post Thursday morning.

The ex-president has long chafed at Ms James’s efforts to hold his company accountable for alleged financial crimes.

On Thursday, he dubbed her a “racist in reverse” and slammed her for going after the National Rifle Association in a lawsuit meant to break up the gun lobby.

“Everybody has to step up and support the National Rifle Association (NRA) against the ’Racist In Reverse’ New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, who is fighting with every ounce of her strength, which shouldn’t be much, to destroy the NRA, and the Republican Party along with it,” he said.

“Her ‘Office’ is consumed with the NRA (and me), with massive amounts of time, money, and effort devoted to this as opposed to stopping the record setting VIOLENT and other crimes in New York State!!!” Mr Trump added.

John Bowden16 February 2023 17:00

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