The Georgia special grand jury that heard evidence on former President Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election recommended even more people be indicted than prosecutors eventually charged—including Republican senators—as the final report was unsealed Friday following months of secrecy.
The final report of the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, that heard evidence regarding Trump and his allies trying to overturn the 2020 election—but did not bring charges themselves—was unsealed Friday, after prosecutors previously fought to keep most of the report private until charges in the case were brought last month.
The report reveals a majority of jurors recommended dozens of people be charged in the probe, while only 19 people were ultimately charged after a regular grand jury heard the case (as the special grand jury couldn’t bring charges directly themselves), and only one person—Trump campaign operative Mike Roman—was indicted without being named in the report.
Among the 21 people who the special grand jury recommended be indicted, but ultimately weren’t, are Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), former Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), attorney Cleta Mitchell, former Trump advisor Michael Flynn, far-right attorney Lin Wood and Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn.
The grand jury largely recommended the high-profile unindicted individuals only be charged with racketeering—as all 19 defendants later were—though it also recommended charges against Perdue for filing false documents in connection with “persistent, repeated communications directed to multiple Georgia Officials and employees” after the election.
Jurors also recommended more charges against people involved in the “fake electors” scheme—in which GOP officials submitted a false slate of electors to Congress, claiming Trump won Georgia—including against Mitchell and 13 of the 16 electors, some of who later took immunity deals.
The vote breakdown shows that fewer jurors were in favor of indicting Graham and Loeffler (13 voted in favor of indicting Graham and 14 for Loeffler, versus seven and six who voted against, respectively), while Flynn got 20 votes and Perdue got 17 for racketeering and 16 for filing false documents.
A footnote in the report notes one of the dissenting jurors believed Perdue and Loeffler’s comments made after the 2020 election “pander[ed] to their political base” but “do not give rise to being guilty of a criminal conspiracy.”
41. That’s how many charges were ultimately brought against the 19 defendants who were charged in Fulton County by the regular grand jury.
What We Don’t Know
Why Graham, Loeffler, Perdue, Flynn and others in the report ultimately weren’t charged. The grand jury proceedings that resulted in the indictments are secret, so there’s no indication of why some people were charged and not others. The final report reveals votes on indictments, but doesn’t give reasoning behind why the special grand jury believed people should or shouldn’t be charged.
What To Watch For
The election interference case will start going to trial this fall, when a trial for at least attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell will start October 23. A decision is still pending on whether the other defendants will be tried then, or later. The grand jury report does raise the possibility the legal proceedings could result in a hung jury that’s not unanimous, as the vote breakdowns show only some votes were unanimous while many had at least one juror dissenting from the indictments, even after months of hearing evidence in the case.
One of the people named in the report who ultimately wasn’t charged is Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones (R), who was one of the false electors. Jones hasn’t been indicted yet but still could be in the future, as Willis was barred from bringing charges against him after hosting a fundraiser for his Democratic rival. A special prosecutor has been appointed to determine whether charges should be brought against Jones, after the final report shows 19 jurors voted for him to be charged in conjunction with the fake electors scheme, and 10 thought he should be indicted for racketeering.
The special grand jury was convened in May 2022 to hear evidence as part of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the election. As a special grand jury, the jurors could not actually vote on indictments themselves, but rather produced a final report recommending indictments, which Willis then used to make the case to a regular grand jury that actually brought charges against the defendants. The special grand jury was dissolved in January after producing their final report—which was based on interviews with 75 witnesses—but only limited portions of the report were released, as Willis argued it wouldn’t be fair to those indicted in the probe to release the full report before they were charged. The portions released in February said only that the grand jury recommended some witnesses be indicted for perjury and revealed that the grand jury found “by unanimous vote” that there was no widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election that justified Trump’s efforts to overturn it. The regular grand jury then voted in August to indict the 19 defendants who were ultimately charged as part of the probe, with prosecutors alleging they constituted a criminal racketeering enterprise who unlawfully conspired to overturn the vote count. All have pleaded not guilty to the charges.