Donald Trump at 'Substantial Risk of Prosecution' in Georgia

The request from Georgia prosecutors for a special grand jury to assist in the election fraud investigation against Donald Trump shows the former president is under "substantial risk" of prosecution, according to a co-author of a report detailing his alleged crimes.

Norm Eisen, senior fellow of the Brookings Government think tank, was reacting to the news Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested a special grand jury in her investigation of 2020 election interference.

Willis has been looking into a recorded conversation between Trump and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state, in which the former president asked for him to "find 11,780 votes" in order to help him win the election.

Eisen, who also served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment, said the move seems to confirm a Brookings Governance report released last September claiming Trump committed "multiple crimes" in his effort to overturn the 2020 Georgia elections results.

"Fani Willis wants a special grand jury for her investigation. What does this mean for Trump? It confirms what we wrote in our report: he's at substantial risk of prosecution in GA," Eisen tweeted.

The 114-page report concluded that Trump's post-election conduct in Georgia "leaves him at substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes," such as criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; intentional interference with performance of election duties; and conspiracy to commit election fraud.

The report was compiled based on publicly available reporting and evidence, including the phone call between Trump and Raffensperger.

The report also lists other examples of Trump's actions after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 Election, including:

  • On December 5, urging Governor Kemp to help change the outcome through several actions and attacked Kemp that same day at a rally for his failure to act
  • Urged Georgia's Republican Attorney General Chris Carr not to oppose a lawsuit filed December 7 by the State of Texas in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to change the electoral outcome in certain states
  • On December 23, urged the chief investigator in Raffensperger's office, Frances Watson, to find dishonesty in connection with electoral complaints her office was then investigating
  • Engaged in various communications with officials of the U.S. Department of Justice in an unsuccessful effort to induce the Department to intervene to influence a change in the result as certified in Georgia

Willis made the request to the chief judge of Fulton County's Superior Court for special purpose grand jury a while after claiming a "significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony."

Willis named Raffensperger as one of those refusing to cooperate without a subpoena.

A special special purpose grand jury differs from a normal grand jury as it will have no time limit on whether to issue an indictment, can focus on just one issue and also subpoena witnesses to testify.

Former Gwinnett County district attorney Danny Porter said the Georgia election fraud investigation "would be an ideal case" for a special grand jury due to its complexities.

"It's usually because it's a very labor-intensive investigation that's going to take a while to do," he told the Associated Press.

Speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper, former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin said Trump's call with Raffensperger was "an election robbery caught on tape."

Toobin added: "That is why so many of the people around the then president at that time were worried about his mental state.

"I remember at the time talking to advisors who were saying 'he's lost it' and so on. He was trying to do everything under the sun to hang on to power and this episode that was caught on tape may be his undoing."

In a statement, Trump described the call with the secretary of State of Georgia as "perfect" and "perhaps even more so" than his call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which he was impeached over.

"What this Civil Special Grand Jury should be looking into is not my perfect phone call, but the large scale voter fraud that took place in Georgia," Trump said. "Then they would be doing a great job for the people. No more political witch hunts!"

Trump has been contacted for further comment.

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Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One on July 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump faces "substantial risk" of prosecution if a special grand jury is brought in to assist in the election fraud investigation in Georgia. Drew Angerer/Getty Images