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Atlanta prosecutors set timeline for decision on charges in Trump probe

ATLANTA — The prosecutor leading the investigation into former President Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia said Monday that she aims to announce any indictments by mid-July at the earliest, the letter said. A letter she sent to top local law enforcement. Official.

In her letter, Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani T. Willis said any charges would be brought in court from July 11 to Sept. 1. In January, Ms Willis said the allegations were decided to be investigated “imminently”. But her timeline has been pushed back, in part because many witnesses have sought cooperation as the investigation draws to a close. Local law enforcement also needs time to prepare for potential security threats, a point Ms. Willis emphasized in her letter.

To complicate matters, Ms. Willis’s office filed a motion last week to remove a lawyer representing 10 Republicans who were part of a phony list of voters who tried to help Trump Mr. Trump remains in power in Georgia after losing the 2020 election.

“In the near future, I will be announcing my office’s decision on charges arising from an investigation into possible criminal interference in the administration of Georgia’s 2020 election,” Ms. Willis wrote in a letter to Sheriff Fulton Road County, Patrick Rabat, and first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I am providing this letter to draw your attention to the need for increased security and preparedness in the coming months as a result of this pending announcement.”

Ms. Willis’s office has spent more than two years investigating whether the former president and his allies illegally interfered in Georgia’s 2020 election, which Trump narrowly lost to President Joe Biden. A special grand jury, which heard evidence in the case over about seven months, recommended indictments against more than a dozen people, and its foreman strongly suggested in a February interview with The New York Times that Trump was among them. .

Ultimately, it will be up to Ms. Willis to decide which charges are brought before a regular grand jury. After her decision was announced, her letter was copied to a number of local officials expressing serious concerns about court security.

“Open-source intelligence suggests that the decision to make this case public may provoke a strong public reaction,” Ms. Willis wrote. “In recent years, we have seen how some may go beyond First Amendment protections for public expression of opinion to engage in acts of violence that endanger the safety of our communities. As leaders, we have a responsibility to be prepared.”

Safety has been a concern for Ms Willis for some time, and she has fitted some staff with bulletproof vests. She wrote to the FBI’s Atlanta field office in early 2022, months before a special grand jury began meeting to consider evidence and hear testimony in the case. In that letter, Ms. Willis asked the FBI to conduct a risk assessment of the county courthouse in downtown Atlanta and “provide protective resources, including intelligence and federal agents.”

Ms. Willis also noted in the FBI letter that Mr. Trump called prosecutors investigating him “vicious, horrible people” at a rally in Conroe, Texas, and said he hoped “we will This country has the biggest protests we’ve ever had in Washington DC, New York, Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt.”

Ms. Willis wrote that Mr. Trump had said at the same event that if re-elected, he might pardon people convicted of crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. In the weeks following the 2020 election Armed pro-Trump protesters have repeatedly turned up around the Georgia State Capitol on Sunday as Trump and his allies made false allegations of election fraud. On at least one occasion, armed counter-protesters also took to the streets.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensburger and his staff evacuate their office at the state Capitol on January 6, 2021, amid concerns that a crowd of pro-Trump protesters, some of them Man holding a long gun. Mr Trump had previously called Mr Raffensperger an “enemy of the people” for what Mr Trump said was his mishandling of Georgia’s election process.

“We must work together to keep the public safe and ensure we do not experience a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Ms. Willis wrote to the FBI.

Last month, Trump’s legal team in Georgia filed a motion to quash the special grand jury’s final report. Parts of the report, which remains classified, recommend charges against unnamed individuals. The motion also seeks to disqualify Ms. Willis’s office from involvement in the case.

In a statement on Monday, the lawyers reiterated their view of the investigation so far as a “deeply flawed legal process.”

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