Key players in the Fulton DA’s Trump probe

File photo / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: AJC

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File photo / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: AJC

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has indicated she’s casting a wide net as she tries to determine whether former President Donald Trump committed a crime in 2020 when he pressured Georgia officials to find him the votes needed for a victory over Joe Biden.

Prosecutors spent much of the last year talking to and collecting documents from roughly 50 voluntary witnesses. Now Willis is turning up the heat on more than 30 reticent witnesses by impaneling a special purpose grand jury that can issue subpoenas compelling their testimony and other information.

There are 60 or so others whom Willis and her team are seeking testimony from in the weeks ahead.

Here are some of the key players she may seek to question:

TEAM TRUMP

Donald Trump

President of the United States

Trump went to great lengths after the 2020 elections to protest vote tallies in Georgia and several other swing states. He called several Georgia officials, including Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and others, urging them to reverse Joe Biden’s narrow victory and hand him the state’s 16 electoral votes.

Rudy Giuliani

President Trump's personal attorney

Giuliani made claims about widespread election fraud and rigged voting machines in Georgia, even though those assertions were debunked by state authorities. He was suspended from practicing law in New York in June 2021 for making “demonstrably false and misleading statements” about election results in Georgia and other battleground states.

Mark Meadows

President Trump's Chief of Staff

Meadows was on the Trump-Raffensperger call and visited Cobb County in December 2020 to observe the Secretary of State’s audit of absentee ballots.


STATE OFFICIALS

Brad Raffensperger

Georgia Secretary of State

Raffensperger is the top elected official charged with overseeing Georgia’s elections. The Republican received a phone call from Trump on Jan. 2 in which Trump pressured him to find enough votes to overturn his narrow defeat in the state.

Ryan Germany

General Counsel for Secretary of State's office

Germany sat in on the Trump-Raffensperger call. He can be heard throughout the conversation defending the state’s handling of the election and subsequent recounts, saying “the numbers we are showing are accurate.”

Frances Watson

Chief Investigator for Secretary of State's office

Watson, who now works for the Georgia Department of Revenue, was the chief investigator for the Secretary of State’s office when she was contacted by Trump in December 2020. During that call, Trump told Watson she would find “dishonesty” if she scrutinized absentee ballots in Fulton County and that she would be praised when “the right answer” came out.

Brian Kemp

Georgia's Governor

Kemp drew the anger of Trump for refusing to call for a special session of the state legislature or to take other actions to undo Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia.

Chris Carr

Georgia's Attorney General

Carr received a phone call from Trump on Dec. 8. The president warned Carr not to oppose a Texas lawsuit that sought to throw out Georgia’s election results.


OTHER FIGURES OF INTEREST

Lindsey Graham

Republican Senator from South Carolina

Graham, one of Trump’s top allies in the U.S. Senate, placed a call to Raffensperger days after the November election as election officials were conducting a recount and audit of the presidential race. Graham asked Raffensperger if he had the authority to disqualify more absentee ballots based on mismatched signatures.

Byung "BJay" Pak

U.S. Attorney

Pak, the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia, abruptly resigned on Jan. 4, 2021, and later testified before Congress that White House had pressured him to investigate false voter fraud allegations.

Bobby Christine

U.S. Attorney

Once top prosecutor for the Southern District of Georgia, Christine was briefly appointed acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District after Pak exited the role. Within days, he told colleagues that he was dismissing a pair of election fraud claims brought by Trump supporters because “there’s just nothing to them.”

David Shafer

Chairman of Georgia's Republican Party

Shafer organized an alternate slate of Georgia presidential electors that voted for Donald Trump for president. Shafer’s electors were not legally valid, but Trump sought to have them counted. Shafer also authorized unsuccessful lawsuits challenging state election rules and results.

And others...

The 16 false GOP electors; poll workers in counties like Fulton who were singled out by Trump and his allies; Republican state Sens. Brandon Beach, Greg Dolezal, William Ligon and Burt Jones, who sided with Texas in its lawsuit seeking to invalidate Georgia’s election results and signed a letter urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to postpone certification of election results.


LAW ENFORCEMENT

Here are the law enforcement officials who will be involved as the special grand jury convenes:

Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney

Willis was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2021, as Trump was escalating pressure on Georgia’s elected officials. On Feb. 10, 2021 the veteran prosecutor announced that she was investigating whether Trump or his allies had broken any laws in Georgia.

John Floyd

Atlanta attorney

Floyd is widely considered to be Georgia’s leading authority on racketeering and conspiracy law. He advised the prosecution teams that secured guilty verdicts on RICO charges for teachers and administrators involved in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. Willis tapped Floyd to join the DA’s office in an advisory capacity in March 2021.

Robert C.I. McBurney

Fulton Superior Court Judge

McBurney has been assigned to supervise the special grand jury and receive its reports. McBurney is a former prosecutor for the Fulton DA’s office and for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta.

Patrick Labat

Fulton County Sheriff

Labat provides security for the county’s courtrooms and judges and will be a key player as the DA’s office prepares for one of the most high-profile grand juries — and potential trials — in American history.

ExploreAJC coverage of the Trump investigation in Fulton County

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