“Grand jury says Trump’s election team committed perjury.”
Without searching for the legacy media’s coverage of today’s release of a handful of pages from the report compiled by the Fulton County, Ga. Special Purpose Grand Jury, I tapped out that mock headline. Sure enough, the corporate press remains predictable.
“Georgia grand jury: ‘Perjury may have been committed’ in Trump election probe,” The Washington Post headed its coverage.
“Georgia Grand Jury in Trump Inquiry Sees Signs of Perjury By Witnesses,” The New York Times echoed.
USA Today similarly headlined its reporting, “Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Perjury Charges for Unnamed Witnesses in Trump Investigation.”
But color me skeptical that any perjury occurred — because of what the Special Purpose Grand Jury said on page two of its report and because of what the partisan Fulton County D.A., Democrat Fani Willis, said in various court filings related to her “investigation.”
In January of 2022, the Democrat D.A. first sought to impanel a “special purpose grand jury” to assist in her investigation into “any coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections in this state.” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher granted D.A. Willis’ request, allowing her to launch a public relations attack on Republicans — including election lawyers, candidates for state office, and even the sitting U.S. senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham.
While the state court allowed the circus to proceed, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney put the brakes on the most obvious — and outrageous — aspect of Willis’ political farce, holding that “this District Attorney and her special prosecution team may no longer investigate Senator [Burt] Jones [an alternate elector in the 2020 election and Republican 2022 candidate]” and may not subpoena him or obtain any records from him via subpoena. Judge McBurney further held that Willis’s special prosecution team “may not publicly categorize [Jones] as a subject or target (or anything else) of the grand jury’s investigation, and they may not ask the grand jury to include any recommendations about him in their final report.”
Willis’ efforts to target Jones were halted because “well after the grand jury had begun receiving evidence from witnesses called and examined by the District Attorney’s team of prosecutors, the District Attorney hosted and headlined a fundraiser for [Charlie] Bailey.” And at that time, Bailey was in a runoff contest to be the Democrat nominee for lieutenant governor to run against Jones in the November 2022 general election.
The political targeting of Republicans was bad enough, but worse still was Willis’ blatant misrepresentation in a federal court filing about Donald Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, telephone conversation with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Willis made that false representation in a response brief she filed to support her right to subpoena Sen. Graham, telling the federal court that “a central focus” of her investigation into the 2020 election “is former President Donald Trump’s January 2, 2021, telephone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger requesting that the Secretary ‘find 11,780 votes’ in the former President’s favor.”
But as I detailed at the time, the transcript of Trump’s conversation with Raffensperger established that the then-president “did not request that Raffensperger ‘find 11,780 votes.’ Period. It never happened.” Rather, during that “telephone conversation between Trump’s legal team and the secretary of state’s office, Trump’s lawyer explained to Raffensperger that ‘the court is not acting on our petition. They haven’t even assigned a judge.’”
Ironically, the judge who was “not acting on” Trump’s petition was the same Judge Brasher who authorized Willis’ Special Purpose Grand Jury.
The transcript of Trump’s call with Raffensberger also reveals the truth about a second lie Willis peddled in the handling of the Special Purpose Grand Jury. During the Jan. 2, 2021 call with the Georgia Secretary of State, Trump’s “lawyers ticked off the numerous categories of illegal votes of which they had concrete evidence — some 25 categories. Trump had challenged those votes in the petition referenced by his attorney, but the court delayed the proceedings, which is why the legal team asked the secretary of state’s office to investigate the problem.”
Yet, as I previously reported, in subpoenaing Trump’s lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, Willis “reportedly asserted that Mitchell was a necessary witness for the grand jury proceedings because Mitchell participated in the call and allegedly ‘parroted claims of voter fraud.’”
Mitchell did no such thing: She was “not pushing claims of voter fraud, but instead wanted the secretary of state’s office to investigate violations of Georgia election law.”
This brings us to page two of the final report issued by the Special Purpose Grand Jury, wherein the group summarized its findings as follows:
“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 a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.”
As this summary shows, the Grand Jury focused solely on questions of election fraud, which is understandable because it was D.A. Willis who fed the group the supposedly relevant facts and law. And as the other court documents establish, Willis falsely represented Trump’s call to Raffensperger, as well as inaccurately claiming Trump’s lawyer, Mitchell, was presenting claims of election fraud.
Thus, even if the Special Purpose Grand Jury impaneled from the heavily Democrat Fulton County acted impartially, it could only attempt, as it itself said in the report, “to understand the facts as presented and the laws as explained.”
Garbage in. Garbage out.
And so, the grand jury’s view “that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” is meaningless without any context.
Sure, maybe one of the witnesses lied on some other matter, but the most likely scenario is that those called before the Special Purpose Grand Jury testified truthfully that the Georgia election results were invalid because of widespread violation of state election law — including an outcome-determinative number of illegal votes. But with Willis’ bait-and-switch focus on fraud, the citizen jurors saw instead perjury.
Unless and until Willis charges those unnamed witnesses, however, everyone connected to Trump who testified will be unfairly branded a possible perjurer, when in reality, it may have instead been Willis who deceived the grand jury.