In addition to recommending charges against former President Donald Trump, a Georgia special purpose grand jury that investigated efforts to overturn the 2020 election also indicated it believed charges should have been filed against South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, and former Georgia U.S. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
The 23 special purpose grand jurors had the ability to subpoena witnesses and recommend charges in this report, which they. They did not have the authority to indict. The report, which was largely sealed until Friday, was released because many of its recommendations came to fruition on Aug. 15, when a traditional grand jury .
Every defendant in the case has pleaded not guilty.
Most of the report, by a special purpose grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, had been ordered to be withheld from the public as the district attorney there considered charges against Trump and others in his orbit.
In a footnote, the report shared that one juror who voted against indictment of Perdue and Loeffler “believes that their statements following the November 2020 election, while pandering to their political base, do not give rise to their being guilty of a criminal conspiracy.”
Current Lt. Governor Burt Jones is also mentioned twice in the report, and the grand jury voted that he be recommended for charges to his involvement as one of 16 Georgia Republicans who falsely claimed to be the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.
However, last year Judge McBurney determined that Willis had aafter hosting a fundraiser for Jones’ Democratic opponent and was precluded from questioning him as part of her investigation, and thus prevented her from charging him as part of this case. Instead, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, a nonpartisan association of Georgia district attorneys, is expected to appoint another prosecutor to decide if any charges should be brought against Jones.
A majority of special purpose grand jurors recommended charges against 27 people “with respect to the national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.” Among those were Graham, Loeffler and Perdue and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. In November 2020,, who twice had entered to charges of lying to the FBI.
Also included in the recommendations were several lawyers either on Trump’s team or working in support of it, including Boris Epshteyn, Cleta Mitchell, and Lin Wood.
Epshteyn, who remains a close adviser to Trump, declined to comment. Mitchell did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Wood said in a phone call with CBS News that “I didn’t commit any crime,” adding that he believed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made the “correct decision” by not charging him.
“I was not involved in a national effort to overturn the 2020 election. The only thing that I did was I filed two lawsuits in Georgia, in my name … those two cases were thrown out on standing,” Wood said.
The report had been shrouded in mystery since it was completed earlier this year and sealed, except for two small sections.
“Much has changed since that February order was entered,” wrote Judge Robert McBurney in a Aug. 28 order indicating the report would be released Friday unless objections were raised by concerned parties. “As anyone with an internet connection now knows, the district attorney hasfor their alleged participation in a ‘racketeering enterprise’ purportedly designed to interfere with the lawful administration of the 2020 general election in Georgia.”
Over the course of about six months in 2022, the special purpose grand jury interviewed 75 witnesses, including current and former state and federal officials.
The special purpose grand jury recommended the report be made public.
A “‘recommendation’ is more than a mere suggestion or request: if a grand jury recommends publication, ‘the judge shall order the publication,’ McBurney wrote in his Aug. 28 order.
McBurney previously released two brief sections of the report. In one section, the special purpose grand jury wrote, “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.”
In a different section, they wrote that a “majority of the Grand Juryby one or more witnesses testifying before it” and recommended that the district attorney seek “appropriate indictments.”
Two of the 19 defendants were charged with perjury, Cathleen Latham, a former chairwoman of the Coffee County, Georgia Republican Party, and Robert Cheeley, a local attorney.
Read the special purpose grand jury’s report below:
This is a developing story and will be updated.