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Former President Trump Makes a Dramatic Move Towards GA Supreme Court in Attempt to Prevent Fulton County Indictment

by Jessica
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Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Legal Team in Georgia Makes Desperate Attempt to Avoid Fulton County Indictment

In a last-ditch effort on Friday, Donald Trump’s legal team in Georgia executed a strategic move to prevent an indictment by Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis.

They pursued two parallel paths, presenting the same argument twice—once to the Supreme Court of Georgia and once to the Superior Court of Fulton County.

Georgia law dictates that a special purpose grand jury investigates cases of public corruption and issues a report rather than an indictment.

This report is then presented to a regular grand jury, which conducts its own investigation and decides on the indictment. Attorneys Drew Findling, Marissa Goldberg, and Jennifer Little filed identical “Petitions for Writs of Mandamus and Prohibition,” demanding that the court nullify the special purpose grand jury report on 2020 election interference issued in January and prohibit the use of any evidence considered against their client. Additionally, they seek to remove DA Willis from any future involvement in 2020 election cases.

The Superior Court petition, filed as a precautionary measure, appears to be procedurally incorrect on its face. According to OCGA § 9-6-40, the writ of prohibition is meant to restrain subordinate courts and inferior judicial tribunals from exceeding their jurisdiction when no other legal remedy or relief is available.

Fulton County’s Superior Court, where Judge McBurney presided over the special purpose grand jury and where the regular grand jury was recently empaneled to review the report, cannot be considered “subordinate” or “inferior” to itself. Furthermore, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is neither a “court” nor a “judicial tribunal.”

This leaves the central claim before the Supreme Court, where Trump argues that it should exercise its rarely utilized original jurisdiction to declare the entire special purpose grand jury system in the state unconstitutional.

Trump’s lawyers assert, “Georgia’s special purpose grand jury scheme is so un-administrable that it is facially void. Hence, it is impossible for any special-purpose grand jury, including this one, to act within the bounds of the law.”

Challenging the already litigated nature of Georgia’s special purpose grand jury statute presents a significant hurdle. A substantial portion of the petition focuses on attempting to eliminate the grand jury’s report before it becomes the basis for an indictment, which DA Willis has indicated will likely occur in the last week of July or the first week of August.

Trump has been seeking this remedy from Judge McBurney since March, when he filed a motion to quash the report, alleging impropriety on the part of DA Willis and the judge himself.

Judge McBurney has yet to rule on that motion, and in the meantime, the regular grand jury has been convened to consider the findings of the prior panel. Consequently, Trump demands intervention by the Supreme Court to prevent the “tediously slow” trial court from allowing the case to progress in the usual manner, which would potentially enable Willis to indict Trump before the 2024 election, causing irreparable harm.

Essentially, this petition echoes the argument Trump previously made before Judge Cannon in the Southern District of Florida last year.

While others would typically need to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence after an indictment, Trump demands the court to make the evidence vanish before it can even be considered.

The only new evidence presented since March is a 1997 case in which a grand jury indictment was expunged—not quashed—because the prosecutor utilized it to investigate public corruption instead of utilizing a special-purpose grand jury.

This disregards a 2015 decision where the state’s highest court determined that suppression of the findings was not the remedy for overreach by a special purpose grand jury.

In summary, it seems unlikely that either court will be persuaded by this petition. However, amidst the legal arguments, Trump’s lawyers introduced a colorful metaphor to convince the court to discard the special purpose grand jury report, fearing that grand jurors might blindly endorse the previous findings:

“If left untouched, the report’s existence will enable the District Attorney to bypass the customary presentation of evidence and potentially prompt a new grand jury to uncritically validate the previous findings.

It is one thing to indict a ham sandwich, but to indict the mustard-stained napkin it once sat on is an entirely different matter.”

While we would typically employ the phrase “mustard-stained napkin” to describe Trump, his lawyers are welcome to contribute to our column if they so desire.

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