The Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously shot down former President Donald Trump’s last-ditch Hail Mary plea to avoid indictment on charges of attempting to influence the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 election.
In a unanimous five-page ruling issued Monday afternoon, all nine members of the Georgia Supreme Court found that Trump’s lawyers had not presented a strong enough case to stop the investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. As a grand jury considers evidence in the election probe, she has signaled that indictments may be forthcoming in the coming weeks.
The Georgia judge didn’t think there was any justification to let Trump avoid the usual route of seeking relief in lower courts.
The Supreme Court said that Trump did not provide sufficient evidence that he had been denied equal access to conventional channels.
Trump requests a decision from the Supreme Court on the pending motions at the lower court level. The court has stated that in the absence of exceptional circumstances, which Petitioner has failed to establish in this case, this Court will not provide a remedy of this kind.
Trump’s legal team claims that Willis violated state grand jury rules by, among other things, using a special grand jury to investigate crimes related to the 2020 presidential election and then presenting the findings of that grand jury to a regular grand jury considering indictments against Trump and his allies.
Willis’ probe was halted in March after Trump’s legal team petitioned Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney to do so. McBurney has not made a ruling on the motion yet. The district attorney’s office has defended the investigation, claiming that all statutory requirements have been met.
However, McBurney or any other judge is allowed to do so if they want to ignore the Georgia Supreme Court’s position that it is unwilling to accept any of Trump’s requests.
Willis’ inquiry appears to be centered on the effort to overturn Trump and his friends’ 2020 Georgia loss to Joe Biden by applying pressure on Georgia officials. A key piece of evidence is an audio recording of a conversation between Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Trump is heard encouraging Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes,” the number he says would give him the margin of victory in the state.
Election authorities and national GOP leaders were among the many witnesses for the special grand jury probe.
Eight of Georgia’s nine Supreme Court justices were nominated by Republican governors. One of them was elected despite having no political affiliation.