- Chris LehmannD.C. bureau chief for The Nation.
The special grand jury in Georgia that is investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election has recommended more than a dozen indictments, and the list could include Trump. Emily Kohrs, the foreperson of the grand jury, confirmed the indictments on Tuesday, though it’s still unclear if they will include crimes other than perjury. Prosecutors will ultimately decide what charges to bring in the coming days. For more, we speak with The Nation’s D.C. bureau chief, Chris Lehmann, who says convictions are still unlikely, given that “the legal system favors heavily entrenched power.”
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.
The foreperson of the special grand jury in Georgia that’s investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election confirmed Tuesday that the jury recommended more than a dozen indictments and that the list might include Trump. Kohrs spoke Tuesday with CNN’s Kate Bolduan about the evidence they reviewed over the past eight months, including testimony from 75 witnesses.
EMILY KOHRS: There was just too much for this to just be, “Oh, OK, we’re good. Bye.”
KATE BOLDUAN: And if it was just a perjury charge, or perjury charges, would that be acceptable to you?
EMILY KOHRS: That’s fine. I will be happy as long as something happens.
AMY GOODMAN: That was the Georgia grand jury foreperson Emily Kohrs. Among the evidence the grand jury likely reviewed was a recording of Trump in January 2021 threatening Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn Biden’s victory in the state.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So, look, all I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.
AMY GOODMAN: A small excerpt of the grand jury report made public last week did not make it clear if the indictments include crimes other than perjury. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will ultimately decide what charges to bring. She has said the decision is imminent.
For more, we go to Washington, D.C., to speak with Chris Lehmann. He’s D.C. bureau chief for The Nation, following this. He wrote a piece, “Trump’s Legal Team Is in Hot Water.”
So, talk about the significance of this grand jury forewoman speaking out and what that says about the whole grand jury investigation.
CHRIS LEHMANN: Well, Amy, it’s — you know, the investigation is still very much a work in progress, and it’s important to note that this grand jury was a special grand jury convened only to make recommendations to District Attorney Willis. And so, there’s been a lot of chatter about what it means that this foreperson is talking so candidly about potential perjury charges, but the district attorney herself is the person who is going to make that call. And in that event, she will convene another grand jury to formally proffer potential indictments.
So, it’s still very early to be speculating a great deal, and it’s also really important to keep in mind the broader background here. You know, Trump has faced investigations and potential indictments in New York. He’s obviously been impeached twice. The legal system, as your viewers well know and listeners well know, favors heavily entrenched power, and a former president is about as entrenched as power gets, even one that is — who is, as the recording you played show, overtly engaged in criminal activity.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And from your coverage of this situation, who, especially in the Trump orbit or his legal team, would be likely most exposed to potential indictments?
CHRIS LEHMANN: Well, you would have to think Mark Meadows, who is very much plugged in. You know, if you read the January 6th report on the interaction at the Capitol, Meadows is closely conferring with Trump every stage of the way. You know, interestingly, the Justice Department under Trump did dissent strongly. Even Bill Barr, who had been a Trump toady throughout most of his tenure, you know, understood that this was a bridge too far. So, you know, I guess Trump’s personal lawyer could face some exposure, but they’ve been very careful in all these proceedings both to protect the president and to limit their own exposure to potential prosecution.