Fulton grand juror: Multiple indictments recommended

Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of the special purpose grand jury that spent eight months investigating election interference in Georgia's 2020 elections, poses for a photograph at the AJC's newsroom on Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023.(miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com)

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of the special purpose grand jury that spent eight months investigating election interference in Georgia's 2020 elections, poses for a photograph at the AJC's newsroom on Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023.(miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com)

A Fulton County special grand jury recommended that multiple people be indicted following a nearly eight-month investigation where it examined potential criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 elections, according to the jury forewoman.

“It’s not a short list,” north Fulton resident Emily Kohrs said in a wide-ranging interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday afternoon.

Kohrs declined to disclose whom the special grand jury suggested that District Attorney Fani Willis charge, but she said, “You’re not going to be shocked.”

“There may be parts of it that you did not expect, but I don’t believe that the season finale will have any major plot twists, you know what I mean?” she added.

Kohrs, 30, served as the leader of the 23-person special grand jury, which met behind closed doors from May 2022 until January and heard testimony from 75 witnesses. Her identity was unveiled early Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. Kohrs, who clarified she was speaking for herself and not the grand jury as a whole, is the first of the group to speak publicly about the experience.

Portions of the jury’s final report were released last week, including revelations that at least one witness may have lied to the group under oath. Jurors said they also unanimously concluded that there was no widespread fraud in Georgia’s 2020 elections.

But aside from the perjury allegations, an introduction and conclusion, at least seven sections of the report were kept under seal. Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney suggested those portions would likely stay private until after Willis makes charging decisions.

Kohrs, who has worked in mostly customer service and retail roles, was between jobs when she was summoned for jury selection early this year. She said she had largely been unfamiliar with the fighting surrounding Georgia’s last presidential election because of the COVID-19 pandemic but was enthusiastic to serve.

High energy, with a red vape in her hand and a notebook in front of her containing instructions from McBurney on what could and could not be discussed, Kohrs expressed amazement at the media attention she had received over the last several hours.

Kohrs said she volunteered to be foreperson of the grand jury because of a longtime interest in politics, even though she said she’s never voted. She brought along sketches she drew of two of the investigation witnesses, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marc Short, a top aide to former Vice President Mike Pence.

Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of the Fulton County special grand jury that examined interference in Georgia's 2020 elections, enjoyed sketching witnesses as they testified. Here are two she drew of Sen. Lindsey Graham and Pence aide Marc Short. (miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com)

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Credit: Miguel Martinez

Kohrs said the special grand jury heard tape recordings of phone conversations that have already been made public, such as Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the president asked Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to swing the election.

But there are recordings of other calls Trump made that the special grand jury heard and which have yet to be made public, Kohrs said.

“We heard a lot of recordings of President Trump on the phone,” she said, declining to give specifics. “It is amazing how many hours of footage you can find of that man on the phone. … Some of these that were privately recorded by people or recorded by a staffer.”

Kohrs also shed more light on the grand jury’s decision not to subpoena or invite former President Donald Trump to testify voluntarily.

“We kind of knew what to expect, and so especially with our time being limited and with our resources being limited, when it came to that it was like ‘eh, we’d rather get this person, which is a battle that we can win, than this other one,’” she said.

When he appeared before the New York attorney general for a deposition last summer, Trump reportedly cited his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination more than 440 times.

“So, I think the president just was one where we chose to focus our energies elsewhere, because it would be more productive in the long run,” Kohrs said.

After portions of the report were released last week, Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social.

”Thank you to the Special Grand Jury in the Great State of Georgia for your Patriotism & Courage,” the former president posted. “Total exoneration.”

When AJC reporters on Tuesday told Kohrs about that reaction she rolled her eyes and then burst out laughing.

”Did he really say that?” she asked. “Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s phenomenal. I love it.”

When asked if she had any response, she said, “I invoke my Fifth Amendment right. That’s what I have to say to that.”

Kohrs also spoke extensively about the witnesses who appeared before the grand jury. She said the late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston cracked her up. (She said she swore him in holding a Ninja Turtle Popsicle she had just received at an ice cream party thrown by the DA’s office.)

Gov. Brian Kemp, she said, did not seem like he wanted to be there. And she said several witnesses — less than a dozen — had been granted immunity from prosecutors.

When asked how she felt about what happened when all was said and done, Kohrs described the experience as “really cool.”

“But it shouldn’t have needed to happen,” she said. “It shouldn’t have needed to happen and it shouldn’t have been so complicated and it just was complicated. It just had all these extra alleys and all these extra twists and turns that it didn’t need.”

The more the special grand jury delved into its investigation, she said, “I realized there was way too much going on and this should not have been this insane.”

Kohrs also said the gravity of the special grand jury’s work wasn’t lost on her.

“I told my boyfriend at one point during proceeding, during all this, I came home and I told him,” she said, “Do you know that if I was in a room with Donald Trump and Joseph Biden and they knew who I was, they would both want to speak to me.”