Atlanta-area prosecutors have indicated that they will go before a grand jury early next week to present the results of their investigation into election interference by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies, raising the possibility that within days Mr. Trump could face a fourth criminal indictment.
On Saturday, two witnesses who have received subpoenas to testify before the grand jury — Geoff Duncan, the former lieutenant governor of Georgia, and George Chidi, an independent journalist — revealed that they had received notices to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday. A spokesperson for the Fulton County district attorney’s office, which conducted the investigation, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Why It Matters
A state-level indictment of Mr. Trump in Georgia would follow closely on the heels of a federal indictment, unveiled this month, that is also related to the former president’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. But unlike with federal convictions, Mr. Trump, if re-elected president, could not attempt to pardon himself if convicted of state crimes in Georgia.
Moreover, while the federal case brought by the special counsel Jack Smith names only Mr. Trump, details have surfaced suggesting that a Georgia indictment could name numerous people, some of them well known and powerful, who played roles in the multipronged effort to help Mr. Trump overturn his narrow 2020 election loss in the state.
Mr. Chidi informed The New York Times on Saturday that he had received the notice to appear. Mr. Duncan on Saturday told CNN, where he is an on-air contributor, that he had received the notice to appear.
Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney,has spent two-and-a-half years investigating whether Mr. Trump and his allies interfered in the 2020 election in the state. Other investigations of the former president have resulted in indictments in New York, Florida and Washington, D.C.
In New York, Mr. Trump was indicted in April on state charges stemming from his alleged role in paying hush money to a porn star. In June, he was indicted in Miami in a federal case related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents; the federal indictment regarding election interference came on Aug. 1.
Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty in those cases.
The Georgia investigation may be the most expansive legal challenge yet to the efforts that Mr. Trump and his advisers undertook to keep him in power. Nearly 20 people are known to have been told that they could face charges as a result of the investigation.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers have described an indictment in Georgia as a foregone conclusion in recent legal filings, and the forewoman of a special grand jury that heard evidence for several months last year strongly hinted afterward that the group, which served in an advisory capacity, had recommended Mr. Trump for indictment.
If Mr. Trump is indicted in Georgia, he will have to travel to Atlanta in the days or weeks afterward to be booked and arraigned. Numerous security measures are in place at the courthouse, including orange barriers that now ring the downtown court complex.