It started with a phone call: Fani Willis had just taken office as Fulton County’s new district attorney in January 2021 when audio leaked of a phone call Donald Trump placed to Brad Raffensperger. In the now infamous Jan. 2, 2021 call, the then-president asked the Georgia secretary of state to “find” 11,780 votes to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the state. Soon afterward, Willis launched an investigation.
A special grand jury is impaneled: A year later, in January 2022, Willis asked the judges of Fulton County Superior Court to allow her to appoint a special purpose grand jury to investigate the actions of Trump and others in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The judges approved the request and and in May 2022 26 Fulton County residents - 23 grand jurors and three alternates - were seated. They had power to subpoena witnesses and investigate but could not bring criminal charges.
The special grand jury wraps up its work: After meeting for eight months and interviewing about 75 witnesses, the special grand jury concluded its probe in January. Jurors compiled a final report for Fulton prosecutors recommending who they thought should be indicted — but their suggestions were non-binding. Most of the document remained under wraps at the request of Willis who said the contents should only be released after she had announced any criminal charges in the case. The special grand jury disbanded.
A criminal grand jury hands up charges: On Aug. 14, Fulton prosecutors presented their case to a new grand jury, which had been impaneled the month before. Unlike the earlier panel, this grand jury could hand up criminal charges. Later that same day they did just that, indicting Trump and 18 of his allies on racketeering and other charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Trips to the Fulton County Jail: Trump and his co-defendants were booked within 10 days, appearing at the Fulton County Jail to be fingerprinted and have their mug shots taken. All but one had bond arrangements in place and departed the Rice Street lockup. One defendant, Harrison Floyd, spent the weekend behind bars before posting bond. All 19 defendants have pleaded not guilty,
Special grand jury report is released: With the criminal charges now public, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney released the special grand jury’s final report on Sept. 8. It recommended that 39 people be charged and listed the jurors’ vote tally on whether to indict for each of them.