Former President Trump pushed back after a Sept. 8 Georgia grand jury report was released indicating it had recommended charges against several Trump allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
“The Georgia Grand Jury report has just been released. It has zero credibility and badly taints Fani Willis and this whole political witch hunt. Essentially, they wanted to indict anybody who happened to be breathing at the time,” President Trump wrote on Truth Social.
The report, released on Sept. 8, is the latest in a long line of indictments against President Trump and those associated with him, with indictments on the state and federal level.
The former president referred to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as an “out-of-control ‘prosecutor’ doing the work of, and for, the [Department of Justice].”
The Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury considered potential charges against a number of individuals in connection with an investigation led by Ms. Willis into efforts by President Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state.
Mr. Graham, former Georgia senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, and attorney Cleta Mitchell were recommended for charges in the report.
President Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, and former Trump attorney John Eastman are among the total of 19 defendants charged in connection with the investigation.
Mr. Graham had harsh words for the grand jury report when he spoke to journalists following his attendance at the Apple Fest Rotary luncheon in Westminster, South Carolina.
Despite not being charged in the case, he told reporters that the grand jury had “criminalized” him for what he claimed was seeking clarification regarding the election in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Additionally, he lamented the precedent that the Fulton County case may set for future elections.
“We’re opening up Pandora’s Box here. Fulton County is one of the most liberal jurisdictions in the country,” he said. “I fear this will spread. That next election, Democrats may be on the other side of this.”
Mr. Graham, who ultimately certified President Joe Biden’s 2020 election, defended his conduct, claiming he called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ask about mail-in votes and other aspects of election procedures in Georgia.
“So at the end of the day, nothing happened,” he said, adding that “we have to be careful not to use the legal system as a political tool.”
A judge ordered the full report to be sealed until last month’s indictment of President Trump and 18 others, but portions of it had been made public earlier this year.
Former Trump national security adviser and retired Lt-Gen. Michael Flynn and another prominent Trump administration aide, Boris Epshteyn, were both recommended for charges by the panel.
According to its December report, the special grand jury panel interviewed 75 potential witnesses and made suggestions to Ms. Willis regarding charges to be brought after the 2020 presidential election.
Ms. Willis stated that she required the subpoena power of the panel in order to ensure the appearance of witnesses who would otherwise refuse to testify.
Attorney Sidney Powell, former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, and others were among the 19 people indicted by Ms. Willis’ office for various crimes, including violations of Georgia’s anti-racketeering law.
All have entered not-guilty pleas.
It is unclear whether or not Mr. Graham, Ms. Loeffler, Mr. Perdue, and others will be charged in the future, despite the fact that they were not among those charged last month.
Current Senators Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) won their respective campaigns against Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Perdue in early 2021.
However, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney did not immediately release the panel’s recommendations on who should or should not be prosecuted, but he did order the partial release of the report recommending charges in February.
At the time, the judge claimed he was acting to ensure all parties received fair treatment.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.