Given the circumstances, it stands to reason that Donald Trump and his legal team would be focused on the Manhattan district attorney’s office. That would make sense, given the increasing likelihood that prosecutor Alvin Bragg will indict the former president as part of the investigation into the Republican’s hush money scandal.
But as we were reminded again yesterday, Team Trump is not in a position to focus exclusively on this case. NBC News reported:
Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys filed a motion Monday to quash the report of a special grand jury that conducted a criminal investigation into whether there were any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in Georgia by him and his allies.
In fact, the former president’s defense team was apparently in an ambitious mood, asking a court not only to reject all the evidence collected by the special grand jury, but also to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the case altogether.
Donald Trump investigations: Follow our live blog for the latest updates and expert analysis on potential indictments.
This isn’t likely to work, though the effort itself stood out for a couple of reasons. The first, and most obvious, was the timing of these developments: All things considered, Trump’s first indictment seems likely to come from New York, but those charges, should they arise, would relate to a campaign finance violation. As crimes go, it would not be a dramatic offense.
The Georgia case, the details of which have become even more striking of late, is a qualitatively different kind of scandal. It involves a more recent and more serious offense: Trump allegedly interfered in the state’s 2020 elections, as part of his crusade to overturn the will of the voters and claim illegitimate power he hadn’t earned.
What’s more, while we don’t yet know what charges Willis might bring, CNN, quoting a single unnamed source, reported that the Atlanta-area prosecutor is considering bringing “racketeering and conspiracy charges” in connection with the case. The report has not been confirmed by MSNBC or NBC News.
All of this comes on the heels of an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report, which included some rather striking quotes from members of the special grand jury. “I tell my wife if every person in America knew every single word of information we knew, this country would not be divided as it is right now,” one said.
Another added, “A lot’s gonna come out sooner or later. And it’s gonna be massive. It’s gonna be massive.”
I can appreciate why the right is preoccupied with developments in Manhattan, but if Trump and his allies aren’t worried about possible charges in Fulton County, they’re not paying close enough attention.