Grand jury heard Trump call with Georgia speaker on overturning Biden's victory
The Fulton County special grand jury heard a phone call between former President Donald Trump and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston as part of its investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, the jury's foreperson, Emily Kohrs, told NBC News on Wednesday.
During the December call, Trump attempted to pressure the then-speaker into calling a special legislative session to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, Kohrs said.
The recording, which was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, lasted about 10 minutes, Kohrs said. She recalled that Trump asked Ralston about who would stop him from holding a special session. According to Kohrs, Ralston responded, “a federal judge, that’s who.”
Ralston, a Republican who spent more than a decade as Georgia's House speaker, died in November.
Ralston’s former spokesperson and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
The grand jury, which conducted a criminal investigation into whether Trump and his allies made any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in the state, completed its work in January, submitting a report on its findings to District Attorney Fani Willis.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled last month that parts of the grand jury’s report can be made public. McBurney also said in the ruling that the report includes recommendations for “who should (or should not) be indicted, and for what,” but those parts would remain sealed for now.
A group of news organizations had petitioned him to make the report public, and he agreed with some of their reasoning.
“[W]hile publication may not be convenient for the pacing of the district attorney’s investigation, the compelling public interest in these proceedings and the unquestionable value and importance of transparency require their release,” McBurney wrote.
Willis’ office had asked that the entire report remain under wraps for the time being.
In unsealed parts of the report released last month, grand jurors said they believe some witnesses may have lied under oath.
“A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” said a section of the report released last month. “The grand jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.”
In an interview with NBC News last month, Kohrs said the grand jury recommended indicting over a dozen people, which “might” include the former president.
“There are certainly names that you will recognize, yes. There are names also you might not recognize,” Kohrs said in the“Nightly News interview.”
She said the list of recommended indictments is “not a short list,” and there were “definitely some names you expect, declining to name anyone specifically in accordance with the judge's instructions.