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Foreperson Gives Glimpse Inside Grand Jury's GA Election Probe

The foreperson of the Georgia grand jury that that investigated whether then-President Donald Trump and his associates illegally meddled in Georgia's 2020 presidential election gave an extensive interview to the Associated Press, saying she did not vote in that election, leans Democratic but considers her only partisan affiliation "the not-crazy party," and was only vaguely away of the controversy surrounding the election. Emily Kohrs, a 30-year-old who was in between jobs for the eight months the special panel heard evidence, gave her impressions of some of the key witnesses' demeanor and prosecutors' efforts to win reluctant witnesses' cooperation. But the AP said she obeyed instructions from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney on what they could and could not share publicly, including in interviews with the news media, and complied with the judge’s instructions not to discuss details related to the jury’s deliberations. She also declined to talk about unpublished portions of the panel’s final report.


Portions of the panel’s final report released last Thursday said jurors believed that “one or more witnesses” committed perjury and urged local prosecutors to bring charges. The report’s recommendations for charges on other issues, including potential attempts to influence the election, remain secret for now. Kohrs said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was on the receiving end of Trump’s pressure campaign, was “a really geeky kind of funny. "State House Speaker David Ralston, who died in November, was hilarious and had the room in stitches. And Gov. Brian Kemp, who succeeded in delaying his appearance until after his reelection in November, seemed unhappy to be there. After U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham tried so hard to avoid testifying — taking his fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — Kohrs was surprised when he politely answered questions and even joked with jurors. Former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was funny and invoked privilege to avoid answering many questions but “genuinely seemed to consider” whether it was merited before declining to answer, she said. When witnesses refused to answer almost every question, the lawyers would engage in what Kohrs came to think of as “show and tell.” The lawyers would show video of the person appearing on television or testifying before the U.S. House committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, periodically asking the witness to confirm certain things. At least one person who resisted answering questions became much more cooperative when prosecutors offered him immunity in front of the jurors, Kohrs said. Other witnesses came in with immunity deals already in place. Trump’s attorneys have said he was never asked to testify. Kohrs said the grand jury wanted to hear from the former president but didn’t have any real expectation that he would offer meaningful testimony. “Trump was not a battle we picked to fight,” she said.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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