The judge presiding over the Fulton County election interference case has issued a new order allowing attorneys representing two of Donald Trump’s co-defendants to conduct interviews with the grand jurors who returned the indictment. This decision comes after the attorneys expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the indictment’s return.
Judge Scott McAfee’s ruling permits the attorneys of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, both of whom are scheduled for trial next month, to engage in discussions with the grand jurors. However, the court will oversee and guide the entire process to safeguard any privileged information.
According to the order, these interviews must be voluntary and conducted in the presence of the court. Judge McAfee acknowledged the confidential nature of grand jury deliberations but emphasized that there is no legal precedent barring defense counsel from contacting the grand jurors. The order underscored the attorneys’ right to conduct a thorough investigation while zealously representing their clients.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office had initially opposed this request, contending that the defense was attempting an illegal investigation. However, the court ultimately ruled in favor of allowing the interviews to proceed.
The court has instructed the defense attorneys to submit a list of proposed questions for the grand juror interviews within the next three days. The state has also been given three days to file any objections to these questions. Subsequently, the court will provide an approved list of questions and request contact information for each grand juror.
Once this information is available, the court will contact the grand jurors to determine their willingness to participate in remote or in-person interviews, all of which will be conducted under the court’s supervision. The order also specifies that if, following the final grand juror interview, the defense counsel believes there are sufficient grounds and prejudice to warrant the dismissal of the indictment, they will be granted an extension to file specific motions accordingly.
In August, former President Donald Trump and 18 others were charged in a comprehensive racketeering indictment. The charges stemmed from alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. All 19 defendants have entered pleas of not guilty.
This development in the case underscores the importance of ensuring due process and the rights of all parties involved in legal proceedings, even in high-profile cases with significant public attention. The court’s decision to permit the grand juror interviews reflects its commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness.