Jan 20 (Reuters) – The prosecutor for Georgia’s largest district on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena powers to assist her probe into then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to sway the US state’s 2020 election results.

In a letter to the Fulton County chief justice, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, District Attorney Fani Willis wrote that several witnesses being investigated have refused to cooperate unless there is a subpoena requiring their testimony .

“Therefore, I hereby request … the appointment of a special jury for the purpose of investigating the facts and circumstances directly or indirectly related to possible attempts to interfere with the lawful conduct of the 2020 Georgia state election.” Willis has written.

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Democrat Willis’ probe is the most serious probe Trump faces in Georgia after he was recorded in a phone conversation in which he pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to change the state’s election results over unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud cancel.

Willis specifically mentioned that Raffensperger, whom she described as a “key witness,” had indicated that he would not attend an interview unless presented with a subpoena.

In a statement, Trump defended what he called his “perfect” phone call and repeated false allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In a separate legal woe for the Trump family, the US House panel investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol Thursday requested an interview with Trump’s daughter and former White House staffer Ivanka Trump.

Former US President Donald Trump hosts a rally in Florence, Arizona, USA on January 15, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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And earlier this week, the New York State Attorney General accused Trump’s family business of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets for financial gain, citing what it called significant new evidence of possible fraud.

Trump critics are hoping his legal troubles will ultimately thwart a potential presidential bid in 2024.

“It’s beginning,” tweeted Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island after news of the request from Georgia.


In her letter, Willis said that a special grand jury capable of subpoenaing witnesses is necessary because juries are called for long periods and can focus solely on a single inquiry.

A spokesman for the high courts in Fulton County, which includes most of the state capital Atlanta, said there was no immediate timeline for a response to Willis’ request.

During the Jan. 2, 2021, call, Trump challenged Raffensperger, another Republican, to “find” enough votes to reverse his defeat in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden. The transcript quotes Trump to Raffensperger, “I just want to find 11,780 votes,” which is the number Trump needed to win Georgia.

Legal experts have said Trump’s phone calls may have violated at least three state election laws: conspiracy to commit voter fraud, criminal solicitation of voter fraud, and willful interference with voting duties. Possible criminal and administrative offenses are punished with fines or imprisonment.

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Reporting by Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer; Edited by Bill Berkrot, Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.