In response to FOIA lawsuits filed by a consortium of media outlets, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney announced at the start of the week that, on Thursday, he would release the introduction and conclusion of the report filed by the Fulton County Grand Jury that was empaneled by DA Fani Willis to look at any crimes Donald Trump and his underlings might have committed in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. McBurney followed through on that promise, and made the promised document available early Thursday.
It is, in short... short. The whole thing is a total of 9 pages, and nearly all of that is functional stuff (title pages, affirmations that the document is truthful, a cover page with the judge's order to release, etc.). If you are interested in stuff with some actual juice, well, there are a total of about 100 words that qualify. There's this passage from the introduction:
The Grand Jury heard extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud from poll workers, investigators, technical experts, and State of Georgia employees and officials, as well as from persons still claiming that such fraud took place we find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.
And there is this passage from the conclusion:
VIII: A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it. The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.
And that is all she wrote. Well, all they wrote.
Fans of democracy, and fans of egg ending up on Donald Trump's face, will be pleased to see that yet another entity has weighed in to decree that "stop the steal" is nonsense (and see below for another example). However, the really tantalizing portion is the second excerpt. Certainly, that is the part that everyone is talking about.
Naturally, the things that everyone wants to know are: (1) exactly how many people perjured themselves, and (2) who was it? Yesterday's release has absolutely nothing to help answer those two questions; there could be "one" perjurer or there could be "more," and there is nary a clue as to their identity/identities. A total of roughly 60 people testified; the most high-profile were Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Kemp and Raffensperger both declined comment yesterday, saying they would let the process play out. The other four, all of whom have been known to play fast and loose with the truth, issued statements insisting that they are not the perjurer. Actually, they finessed things a bit more than that, with liberal use of lawyer-speak. Eastman, for example, decreed that he "remains confident that his representation of former President Trump was well within the strictures of the law." His inability, and the inability of the others, to just say "I told the truth" may be instructive. Note, incidentally, that Trump did not testify for the grand jury. So, while he is certainly perjury-prone, he is not the person being referred to in the report.
Meanwhile, although you can find a hundred "Who's the perjurer?" pieces right now, there is another detail in the latter passage that nobody seems to be commenting on. Certainly nobody that we could find, and we looked. Notice that it is labeled "VIII." Clearly, the previous pages contain conclusions I through VII. Were some or all of those conclusions about other criminal acts the jury felt had taken place? If that is the case (or even if it isn't), how come those conclusions were redacted and conclusion VIII was not? There are other portions of the report where things are blacked out, so the Judge clearly owns a Sharpie pen and could have used it to black conclusion VIII out. But he didn't. Maybe there is something that lawyers know about documents like this that we do not, but this seems just as interesting to us as the very broad allegation of perjury.
And now that this morsel is out there, everyone gets to wait for... who knows how long? The Judge has suggested he might release more of the report, but he hasn't firmly committed to doing so, nor has he offered a timeline. Willis has implied that decisions are coming soon, but has also given no timeline. What we do know is that there are many, many, many, many, many folks out there predicting that indictments are certain. We can't find anyone predicting that Willis is just going to drop this and move on with her life. (Z)