Georgia authorities are preparing to ramp up their criminal investigation into election interference by former president Donald Trump and his allies.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis "is moving toward convening a special grand jury," the New York Times reported Saturday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the deliberations.
"By convening a grand jury dedicated solely to the allegations of election tampering, Ms. Willis, a Democrat, would be indicating that her own investigation is ramping up," the newspaper reports. "Her inquiry is seen by legal experts as potentially perilous for the former president, given the myriad interactions he and his allies had with Georgia officials, most notably Mr. Trump's January call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him to 'find 11,780 votes' — enough to reverse the state's election result."
Willis could submit evidence to two grand juries that are currently sitting in Fulton County, but the county has a backlog of 10,000 criminal cases.
"By contrast, a special grand jury, which by Georgia statute would include 16 to 23 members, could focus solely on the potential case against Mr. Trump and his allies," the newspaper reports. "Ms. Willis is likely to soon take the step, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deliberations, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the decision is not final."
Potential criminal charges against Trump in Georgia include racketeering, election fraud solicitation, intentional interference with performance of election duties, and conspiracy to commit election fraud, according to a recent analysis from the Brookings Institution.
Legal experts say Trump worsened his exposure to potential criminal charges in Georgia with statements at a recent MAGA rally, where he admitted to calling Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and saying: "Brian, listen. You have a big election-integrity problem in Georgia. I hope you can help us out and call a special election, and let's get to the bottom of it for the good of the country."