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ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta-area prosecutor investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his associates broke the law when they tried to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss in Georgia is expected to begin arguing her case early next week to present to the grand jury.
Geoff Duncan, the former lieutenant governor of Georgia who has been subpoenaed as a potential witness, confirmed Saturday that he will testify before a closed-door grand jury after being subpoenaed to testify at the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday.
“I look forward to answering your questions about the 2020 election,” Duncan wrote on Twitter. “Republicans should never allow honesty to be confused with weakness.”
Duncan also said on CNN on Saturday that he didn't want to jeopardize the investigation by revealing what he would say, but said he was willing to testify.
“I will definitely answer any questions that are asked of me,” Duncan said in the interview.
He added: “Let us hear the truth and nothing but the truth about Donald Trump's actions and the characters surrounding him.”
George Chidi, an independent journalist who was also subpoenaed, said on Twitter (now renamed X) that he would have to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday.
The revelations represent the first official confirmation that Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) is finally pressing charges, more than two years after she first launched her investigation into Trump and his allies' efforts to defeat Joe Biden to reverse victory in Georgia.
A spokesman for Willis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The high-profile investigation is widely expected to result in multiple indictments against multiple defendants – including Trump, who was indicted earlier this month in a separate federal case brought by special counsel Jack Smith in which Trump was accused of plotting and conspired to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election to remain in power.
Duncan (R) is one of four known witnesses who have been subpoenaed to appear in the Fulton County case – although a subpoena does not necessarily guarantee testimony.
Former Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan (D) and former state Rep. Bee Nguyen (D) have also publicly acknowledged receiving subpoenas in the case.
Duncan was a longtime Trump supporter when he publicly broke with the then-president in the chaotic aftermath of the 2020 election and publicly criticized Trump and his allies for the “mountains of misinformation” they expressed about the election results in Georgia. Duncan, who was leader of the state Senate in late 2020, clashed publicly with several Republican state lawmakers and vocal allies of Trump who had led efforts to overturn Biden's victory in the state, and he criticized hearings at which Rudy Giuliani , a former mayor of New York, was in attendance, debunking claims of widespread voter fraud.
Duncan, who did not seek re-election in 2022, fought a subpoena last year to appear before a special grand jury set up to investigate the case, but he said last week that he would be willing to testify and “the “I would report facts as I know them to this investigation.”
Jordan and Nguyen attended the legislative hearings where Giuliani and other Trump associates spread baseless conspiracy theories about the Georgia vote – with Nguyen denying many of those claims in real time. Both testified before the special grand jury last year.
Another subpoena went to Chidi, an independent journalist from Atlanta, who in December 2020 came across a meeting at the Georgia Capitol of 16 Republicans who had gathered to cast fraudulent electoral votes and declare Trump the winner in Georgia, even though Biden had The winner had already been confirmed.
Chidi wrote in the Intercept that he was incorrectly told it was an “educational event” and was kicked out – a detail that has caught the attention of Willis and prosecutors investigating the “bogus” election plan.
Willis has strongly indicated for months that she will pursue multiple charges in the case. In doing so, she draws on Georgia's extensive anti-racketeering laws, which allow prosecutors not only to charge misconduct in the state but also to use activities in other states to prove criminal intent in Georgia. In court papers, Willis described her investigation as an investigation into “coordinated efforts by multiple states to influence the results of the November 2020 elections in Georgia and elsewhere.”
At least 18 people were informed by prosecutors last year that they were targets of the investigation. That list includes Giuliani, who served as Trump's personal lawyer after the election, and several Georgia Republicans who served as Trump surrogates – although some have since been granted immunity.
However, it is believed that Willis' scope of action is greater. Georgia law does not require individuals to be formally notified that they are under investigation.
In addition to surrogate voters, Fulton County prosecutors are believed to be investigating false statements made by Giuliani and other Trump allies during legislative hearings in Georgia; the harassment of poll workers, including Fulton County poll workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss; and the breach of voting equipment in Coffee County, Georgia, as part of a Trump-led attempt to undermine the 2020 election in Georgia.
Willis had previously indicated she would announce her fee decision within a three-week window in August, ending Friday. Security around the courthouse, where barriers block the building and roads are closed, has tightened in recent weeks.
If indicted in Georgia, it would be the fourth time Trump has been criminally charged since March.
In addition to the federal lawsuits Smith filed earlier this month over Trump's alleged attempts to undermine the election results, the former president was indicted last month in Miami on charges he mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House and the government's efforts to get her back. A New York state grand jury in March charged him with falsifying business records related to hush-money payments during the 2016 election campaign.
In anticipation of an indictment in Georgia, Trump has stepped up his attacks on Willis, the first Black woman elected district attorney in Fulton County.
Trump's 2024 campaign aired a video directly attacking her, Smith and other prosecutors. The campaign has reportedly reserved airtime for the ad in Atlanta, according to Medium Buying. The spot claims Willis was “caught hiding a relationship with a gang member who was prosecuting her” – an unsubstantiated claim that Trump later escalated at an Aug. 8 campaign appearance in New Hampshire.
“They say there's a young woman – a young racist in Atlanta – she says she went after a particular gang and ended up having an affair with the leader of the gang or a gang member,” Trump said. “And this is a person who wants to sue me… over a perfect phone conversation.”
Willis has often refused to respond directly to Trump's attacks, but in a rare exception on Wednesday she said in an email to her staff that Trump's ad contained “derogatory and false information about me” and instructed her staff to stop it to ignore.
“You may not comment in any way on the ad or on the negativity that may be expressed against me, your colleagues or this office in the coming days, weeks or months,” Willis wrote in the email, which was obtained by The Washington Post . “We have no personal feelings toward those we investigate or prosecute, nor should we express feelings. This is a business matter, it will never be anything personal.”
Willis has repeatedly raised concerns about security throughout her investigation, citing Trump's “alarmist” rhetoric and the racist threats she and her staff have received – including a recent email Willis shared with district officials and in which the author referred to her as the n-. Word and called her a “Jim Crow Democrat whore.”
Willis is often accompanied by armed guards at public appearances, and security at her office and residence has been increased in recent days before the expected announcement of the charges, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity to openly discuss sensitive matters Security to speak matters.