Charging decision in Georgia’s Trump election probe coming this summer -report

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) – Georgia prosecutors will reveal this summer whether former President Donald Trump will be charged with crimes related to interfering with the 2020 election, the Atlanta district attorney said on Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in letters sent to local law enforcement agencies said she would disclose charging decisions sometime during the Fulton County Superior Court’s summer term, which begins on July 11 and concludes on Sept. 1, the newspaper reported.

The letters, which the paper reported were sent to the Atlanta police chief, the county sheriff and the county emergency management director, were intended to give law enforcement enough time to prepare for possible violence. Willis warned that the announcement would likely “provoke a significant public reaction,” according to a copy of the letter posted online by the newspaper.

A spokesperson for Willis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Willis told a court in January that charging decisions were “imminent,” shortly after a special grand jury finished a months-long investigation into whether Trump and his associates illegally attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, won by Joe Biden.

The special grand jury’s report, which includes recommendations on possible charges, has remained largely under seal pursuant to a judge’s order. The special grand jury was not empowered to issue indictments.

Trump’s lawyers filed a motion in March seeking to block prosecutors from using the grand jury’s findings. Willis’ office has been ordered to respond by next week.

Willis’ probe began soon after a recorded January 2021 phone call in which Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, to “find” the votes to reverse Biden’s victory.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has denied wrongdoing and accused Willis, an elected Democrat, of targeting him for political gain.

Trump became the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges when New York prosecutors indicted him on March 30 for falsifying business records related to hush money payments made to a porn star who claimed to have had an affair with him.

He also faces other investigations, including a pair of U.S. Justice Department probes into his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House as well as his efforts to alter the 2020 election results.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax in Princeton, New Jersey; Editing by Matthew Lewis)