A Georgia judge has given Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis until May 1 to respond to former President Donald Trump's motion to strike Willis' grand jury report.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over the grand jury investigation, issued the order Monday, two months after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said decisions on whether to charge Trump were "imminent."
"The District Attorney's Office is ordered to file a response to the motion no later than 1 May 2023," Judge McBurney wrote in the order filed Monday.
Trump's motion seeks to strike Willis' special purpose grand jury and seeks to end any further prosecution. Willis has through April to response and also outline whether a hearing will be needed.
Willis' grand jury was investigating Trump's actions to challenge the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Trump filed a motion to quash the final report last week, excerpts of which were made public.
According to the excerpts, the grand jury concluded there was no widespread fraud, despite Trump's claims the vote was rigged against him. It made recommendations to prosecutors on possible indictments for election interference, but none of these was made public.
In recordings of a January 2021 call made public, Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state." Trump denies any wrongdoing.
The special grand jury in this case, unlike a regular grand jury, was not empowered to issue indictments, only to make recommendations. Any decision to press charges rests with Willis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday it spoke to five members of the special grand jury who said they heard a recording of a phone call between Trump and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston that had not previously been reported and has not been made public. Ralston, who died in November, did not call a special session in the weeks after the November 2020 election.
The five grand jurors — three men and two women — spoke to the newspaper but declined to be named because they were concerned about their safety and privacy.
Willis opened the Georgia investigation in early 2021.
In a separate recording made public in early 2021, Trump can be heard talking to the lead investigator in Raffensperger's office in December 2020, pressing her to look into Fulton County, saying she would "find things that are gonna be unbelievable." Trump also told her, "When the right answer comes out, you'll be praised."
The special grand jury, which was seated in May, heard from about 75 witnesses and considered other evidence before wrapping up its work in December.
The foreperson of the special grand jury said in news interviews last month that the panel recommended that numerous people be indicted, but she declined to say who.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press were used in this report.
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