A special grand jury in the case alleging election interference against former President Donald Trump and allies in Georgia recommended charges for three United States senators, one current and two former, for allegedly participating in an effort to pressure state officials to disregard the results of the 2020 elections. None of the three were indicted.
According to its report released Friday, the grand jury recommended state official bring charges against Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and former Sen. David Purdue (R-GA), the latter two both losing their local reelection bids in a January 2021 runoff election shortly after the national election in November 2020. All three, the jury said, participated in a “national effort to overturn the 2020 election.”
As part of proceedings, the Fulton County grand jury heard from 75 witnesses including those familiar with an alleged call made by then President Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” votes that could throw the electoral outcome from then-candidate Joe Biden to Trump. The Republican leader has denied the charge and claimed Democratic District Attorney Fani Willis is conducting a partisan investigation to boost her own national image.
Part of the decision to recommend charges against Sen. Graham, the report says, is based on similar calls he allegedly made to Secretary Raffensperger on behalf of President Trump asking about the possibility of fraudulent votes making the difference in a close election. Raffensperger would later say publicly that he felt “pressured” by Graham to “disenfranchise voters.” Similarly, the grand jury said Senators Loeffler and Purdue held separate meetings with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp where they personally urged him to convene a special legislative session with the intent of supporting President Trump’s claims of election fraud.
Both Raffensperger and Gov. Kemp have become vocal Trump critics since the 2020 election, and the former president famously backed Sen. Purdue’s unsuccessful Republican primary campaign against Kemp.
Other individuals close to President Trump were recommended for charges Friday including former advisors Michael Flynn and Boris Epshteyn and attorney Cleta Mitchell. None of the individuals recommended today were part of the 18 co-defendants indicted alongside President Trump last month.
Since pleading not guilty, President Trump has organized fundraising dinners for his co-defendants, some of whom were forced to stay in deplorable jail conditions as they were unable to post bail. Republicans and local voters have largely rallied to the president’s defense, claiming DA Willis’s investigation — as well as those conducted by Manhattan Democrats and the Biden administration — are part of a witch hunt to deny him a return to the White House.
The special grand jury in Fulton County recommended charges against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former GOP Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Kelly Loeffler, the newly released special grand jury report shows.
— CNN (@CNN) September 8, 2023