Jan. 2, 2021
Then-President Donald Trump, scrambling to challenge election results in several swing states, calls Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During the leaked hourlong conversation, Trump urges Raffensperger to “find” the nearly 12,000 votes to reverse his narrow defeat in Georgia.
Feb. 10, 2021
Willis announces that her office is launching a criminal investigation into alleged attempts by Trump to change the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia. She urges Raffensperger and others the president contacted, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr, to preserve documents that could be relevant to the probe.
She said the investigation includes but is not limited to “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”
Willis said her office is best suited to handle the investigation since all of the state’s other investigative agencies with jurisdiction, including the secretary of state and attorney general’s offices, have conflicts because their leaders had been contacted by Trump and were potential witnesses.
April 28, 2021
Gov. Brian Kemp appoints a special counsel to represent the secretary of state as tensions appear to increase between Raffensperger’s office and prosecutors.
Jan. 20, 2022
Willis requests a special purpose grand jury to aid in her investigation of Trump. She tells members of Fulton County’s Superior Court that a “significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.” She singles out Raffensperger, who would presumably be the case’s star witness. He has declined to be interviewed without a subpoena, though several of his aides have voluntarily spoken with prosecutors.
Willis later told the AJC that at least 30 people had declined to testify without a subpoena.
Jan. 24, 2022
A majority of the judges on the Fulton County Superior Court bench greenlight Willis’ request for a special purpose grand jury, which can meet for a period “not to exceed 12 months.”
Jan. 29, 2022
During a rally in Conroe, Texas, Trump tells supporters to launch “the biggest protest we have ever had” in Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C., if prosecutors “do anything illegal” in their probes of his activities. Trump also called prosecutors “radical” and “racist.” The top investigators leading the four major investigations are Black.
Jan. 30, 2022
Willis asks the head of the FBI’s Atlanta field office to conduct a risk assessment of the Fulton County Courthouse and Government Center and provide other protective resources, such as federal agents and intelligence. She says that security concerns were “escalated” by comments Trump made and that she wants to deter a Jan. 6-style insurrection.
May 2, 2022
Prosecutors begin jury selection for the investigation.
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