Fulton grand jury recommended charges against Perdue and Loeffler in 2020 election case

By: - September 11, 2023 4:40 am

Justice scales, books and wooden gavel. Getty Images.

A Fulton County special grand jury recommended that prosecutors file criminal charges against former Georgia U.S. Sens. David Perdue  and Kelly Loeffler and Sen. Lindsey Graham in the sweeping 2020 presidential election interference case.

The grand jury report released Friday reveals that the panel believed that the three U.S. senators and Michael Flynn, a former national security advisor to then-President Donald Trump, are among 21 alleged co-conspirators who should have been indicted in August when a regular grand jury handed down felony racketeering charges against Trump and 18 of his allies. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversaw the seven-month long investigation that the special grand jury conducted in 2022, made the full report public on Friday.

The special grand jury heard evidence and testimony from 75 witnesses before suggesting that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis pursue charges against three dozen people for their involvement in an alleged conspiracy to overturn a 2020 election that saw Democratic President Joe Biden narrowly end Trump’s reelection bid.

In February, a limited section of the special panel’s 28-page report stated that the jurors believed multiple people perjured themselves in the case.

As the 2020 presidential election saga played out in Georgia and multiple other states, Loeffler and Perdue were also on the campaign trail in hotly contested runoff battles with Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Both Perdue and Loeffler criticized the 2020 election, calling the results a sham. Perdue and Loeffler met with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp after the Nov. 3, 2020 election in an attempt to convince him to convene a special session to overturn Trump’s victory.

Loeffler and Perdue would go on to be defeated by Warnock and Ossoff in their respective election races, an outcome that flipped control of Congress to Democrats as the Biden administration entered office in January 2021.

The special grand jury also voted 13-7 in favor of charging the veteran South Carolina lawmaker Graham, who faced questions about whether he tried to pressure state election officials about the 2020 election.

Graham’s attorneys have argued that he was performing his duties as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when he contacted Georgia secretary of state’s office to ask about the state’s procedures for disqualifying absentee ballots and other election matters.

On Aug. 14, Fulton grand jury indictments resulted in multiple felony counts against Trump and his former personal attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and several false Electoral College voters, including freshman Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still, a Norcross Republican, and David Shafer, a former Georgia Republican Party chairman and state legislator.

Additionally, 20 jurors favored charging three people who avoided being indicted in August: Flynn, top Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn and Georgia attorney Lin Wood, who unsuccessfully challenged the 2020 presidential election results.

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Stanley Dunlap
Stanley Dunlap

Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.