Trump in big trouble over Georgia election tampering case

By TN Ashok

Washington, Jan 14 (IANS): Former US President Donald Trump's 2024 presidential run could suffer a fatal blow considering a Georgia judge will begin hearing later this month arguments regarding the release of a grand jury report over his involvement in possible election tampering and may have no option but to follow the jury's verdict through.

"This could be momentous," an election analyst was quoted by the US media as saying.

The Georgia judge now handles the grand jury report which has recommended prosecution and has been made public damaging the ex-president's image, according to a report from the Guardian.

The report could lead Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to follow through and drag the former president into court.

The 23-member panel wrapped up their work last Monday requesting the report be made public -- something Trump's lawyers are trying to block, reports said.

A legal expert Norm Eisen of the Brookings Institution, which issued its own report stating the former president is "at substantial risk of prosecution", said there is a wealth of evidence that could lead to prosecution for "improperly influencing government officials, forgery and criminal solicitation".

Eisen claimed with the Guardian that it was "highly likely" Willis will follow the recommendations of the grand jury and proceed with prosecution.

"The evidence is powerful and the law is very favourable to the prosecutors in Georgia," the attorney explained.

"I believe the (special grand jury) report very likely calls for the prosecution of Trump and his co-conspirators."

Eisen claimed that the Georgia case goes a step beyond DOJ's investigation of Trump over his part in the January 6 insurrection and obstruction of justice with regard to the taking of government documents and hoarding them at Mar-a-Lago.

That means Trump could be in a Georgia courtroom long before the DOJ concludes its work.

"If the grand jury's report recommends prosecution, a county district attorney in Atlanta, Fani Willis, will face the most consequential decision of her career -- whether, for the first time in American history, to charge a former president with a criminal offence."

"That could result in Trump sitting behind bars in Georgia when he expects to be out on the campaign trail."

The Guardian said: "Those who have worked with Willis say she is unlikely to shy from prosecuting Trump if she deems it appropriate. She is known to be a fan of anti-racketeering laws, having used them to prosecute public school teachers who were part of a cheating scandal. If Willis decides to press ahead with the case, she will need to convene a regular grand jury which has the authority to hand down indictments."



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