Georgia grand jury recommended charging three US senators

A Georgia special grand jury recommended charges against one current and two former US senators and 18 other Donald Trump allies, a newly released report says.

But prosecutors decided not to indict them for alleged efforts to reverse 2020 election results in the state.

The jury had voted to recommend indictments against Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

The full report was released on Friday.

The document, newly made fully public, offers the clearest picture yet of the secret jury’s thinking as they investigated whether Mr Trump and his allies broke the law in Georgia during the 2020 US presidential election.

That investigation culminated in the criminal charges that were brought against Mr Trump and 18 co-defendants last month for an alleged conspiracy to overturn the election results.

All have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

This report sheds light on who else was investigated and how close they came to being prosecuted.

All told, the special grand jury recommended charges against 39 people. Eventually 19 people, including Mr Trump, were later charged.

The panel spent seven months interviewing some 75 witnesses. They had broad investigative powers and could recommend charges based on their findings – but did not have the power to indict.

The grand jury report shows the breakdown of each vote to recommend charges against the major figures caught up in the investigation, including Mr Trump.

But the actual document shows dissent among the 23-member panel.

While nearly all were in agreement to charge Mr Trump and his top attorneys, including Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, there was more pronounced split about whether to charge the senators.

Footnotes included beneath each vote give a glimpse into their disagreements. The splits could portend challenges for prosecutors at an eventual trial, where a jury vote unanimously to convict.

The report notes that one dissenting juror believed Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue were “pandering to their political base” when they made false statements about the election results as they were running for re-election, but that did not necessarily make them “guilty of a criminal conspiracy”.

Ms Willis had also scrutinised a call that Mr Graham made to the state’s top election official shortly after the election, as well as other actions.

He had called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to ask whether certain mail ballots could be thrown out, The Washington Post reported.

Mr Graham’s, Mr Perdue’s and Ms Loeffler’s offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Two jurors voted against recommending charges for individuals accused of posing as false electors. They believed they had been “misled to understand what was their civic duty”.

Some major figures not indicted include his former national security advisor Michael Flynn, attorney and aide Boris Epshteyn, and lawyer Cleta Mitchell.

In a statement on Friday on his social network Truth Social, Mr Trump said the grand jury report had “zero credibility”, adding that jurors wanted to “indict anybody who happened to be breathing”.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis created the special grand jury soon after the 2020 US presidential election. Unlike a typical grand jury, this body had investigative powers.

The panel was selected in May 2022 and turned in their final report in January. Much of it has remained under seal until now.

Ms Willis created a second, typical grand jury this summer, which voted to indict Mr Trump and the 18 co-defendants in a sweeping racketeering case.

The indictment alleges the 19 worked together in order to unlawfully overturn the results of the 2020 election by pressuring Georgia election officials, harassing poll workers, and organising a slate of false electoral college members to submit a false vote for Mr Trump.

Mr Trump, the current frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been criminally indicted four times, including in the Georgia case.

He has repeatedly denounced the prosecutions as politically motivated, deliberately aimed at derailing his presidential ambitions.

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