March 29, 2023

NO SURPRISES: Fulton County Grand Jury forewoman weighs in on “imminent” indictments

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It’s been nearly a month since Fulton County DA Fani Willis said that indictments are “imminent” after the Georgia Special Grand Jury concluded its investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss in the state in the 2020 presidential election, yet to date, not a single indictment has been announced.

In the meantime, we’ll just have to be satisfied with the hints of what’s to come that can be gleaned from the interviews that both the Associated Press and The New York Times conducted recently with Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of the Grand Jury.

Judging from what Kohrs had to say, Donald Trump and a number of other people who testified before the Grand Jury had better have a clean change of underwear ready.

Both interviews were predicated on Kohrs’ inability to legally reveal anything more than what was included in the heavily redacted report that the court issued summarizing the Grand Jury’s findings which included that a “majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it” and that “the Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”

Thus, Kohrs was unable to name the names of whom she and the other members of the Grand Jury thought committed perjury and whom they thought should be indicted.

What she did say, however, has inspired much salivation.

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“’It is not a short list,’ the forewoman, Emily Kohrs, said, adding that the jury had appended eight pages of legal code ‘that we cited at various points in the report,’” according to The New York Times.

“I will tell you that if the judge releases the recommendations, it is not going to be some giant plot twist,” Kohr told The Times. “You probably have a fair idea of what may be in there. I’m trying very hard to say that delicately.”

That didn’t stop the newspaper’s interviewer from asking Kohrs directly whether the Grand Jury’s recommendations for indictment included a certain orange-hued retiree in Palm Beach.

The forewoman was cagey in her response:

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“You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science,” Kohrs said. “You won’t be too surprised,” she added.

Given that Trump was caught on a recording directly asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” just enough votes to overturn his loss in the state, the biggest surprise would be if he were to somehow get away without an indictment for that seeming slam dunk bit of evidence of attempted election tampering.

In her interview with Associated Press, Kohrs shared her impressions of some of the witnesses who appeared before her and the other jurors without betraying any confidential findings.

She called Brad Raffensperger “a really geeky kind of funny,” while describing Georgia Governor Brian Kemp as not particularly happy to be forced to testify about his interactions with the Trump campaign.

She also revealed that Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was much more cooperative in her testimony than her former boss was.

Kohrs characterized the demeanor of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who had waged a fierce, and unsuccessful, battle to avoid having to appear before the Grand Jury — as polite and joking.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was also described as funny and thoughtful as he “genuinely seemed to consider” each invocation of the Fifth Amendment that he provided.

Apparently, the Fifth Amendment was invoked quite frequently by witnesses, with Kohrs noting that jurors kept count of how many times each witness used it to avoid answering questions.

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“At least one person who resisted answering questions became much more cooperative when prosecutors offered him immunity in front of the jurors, Kohrs said. Other witnesses came in with immunity deals already in place,” Associated Press reported.

In both interviews, the Grand Jury forewoman comes across as non-partisan and dedicated to uncovering the truth, avoiding press accounts of the proceedings in order to maintain impartiality.

“I didn’t want to characterize anyone before they walked in the room,” Kohrs told AP. “I felt they all deserved an impartial listener.”

Most importantly, Kohrs feels that she and her fellow jurors completely nailed their duties.

“I fully stand by our report as our decision and our conclusion,” she said.

With the added tease of Kohrs’ interviews, it’s now time for Fulton County DA Fani Willis to turn those “imminent” indictments into actual ones.

Original reporting by Danny Hakim at The New York Times and by Kate Brumback at Associated Press.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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