Trump probe: Election officials’ testimony delayed

Credit: Miguel Martinez /miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez /miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

The testimony of a handful of officials from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office in front of a Fulton County special grand jury investigating former President Donald J. Trump is being delayed, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Five current and former aides to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger were scheduled to speak this week to the 23 grand jurors who are investigating the state’s 2020 elections and alleged meddling by Trump and his allies.

But their testimony is being rescheduled for later in June, according to those sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record. The Fulton County District Attorney’s office declined to publicly disclose why the proceedings were being delayed but confirmed that they are.

The development comes less than a week after the special grand jury heard from its first two witnesses, Raffensperger and his wife Tricia.

Raffensperger was at the center of two phone calls of interest to the DA’s office: one with Trump and another with his Senate ally, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and received death threats for his refusal to overturn Georgia’s election results. Tricia Raffensperger was with her husband when he received the Trump phone call and also received violent threats following the elections.

ExploreRaffensperger testifies before Fulton grand jury probing 2020 elections
ExploreFulton grand jury prepares to hear testimony in Trump probe

Ryan Germany, the general counsel for the secretary of state’s office who was on the Trump call, and Victoria Thompson, who was an executive assistant and scheduler in late 2020, were slated to testify on Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of State Gabe Sterling; Frances Watson, the former chief investigator for the Secretary of State’s office and former elections director Chris Harvey were originally scheduled for interviews on Wednesday and Thursday.

Their testimony is expected to be rescheduled for the weeks ahead, the sources said.

Attorney General Chris Carr and at least two state legislators, Democrats Jen Jordan and Elena Parent, have been subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury later this month. Dozens of others are also expected to be summoned.

The special grand jury, which can issue subpoenas but not indictments, is authorized to meet through May 2023. But Fulton DA Fani Willis recently told Yahoo News that she could decide whether to pursue charges in the investigation as soon as this fall.

“I think we could be in and out 90 days,” she said about the special grand jury’s work. “I don’t expect that everything will go perfect, because that’s just not the way life works. And so it may take a little longer. … In a perfect world, I think we can finish in July, August.”