Jury selection is set to commence on Monday for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis's investigation into 2020 election interference, which involves former President Donald Trump.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office closed nearby roads and increased security on Monday as a precautionary measure in the high-profile case to ensure the juror selection process, in which 16 to 23 people will be seated, as well as three alternates, goes uninterrupted.
"We want to make sure that this is hopefully much to do about nothing, but we can't be overly cautious, and we are going to make sure that all of our customers are safe and secure," Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said, per 11 Alive.
Jury selection is expected to take about a day. Once the special grand jury is seated, its work will take place in secret. The special grand jury will help issue subpoenas and may make legal recommendations to the attorney general, but Willis will decide whether to pursue an indictment from a standard grand jury.
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In January, Trump called for protests if prosecutors do "anything wrong or illegal" in the case. Willis previously confirmed to the Associated Press she is conducting a criminal inquiry into whether Trump improperly attempted to influence the 2020 election in Georgia.
Following the 2020 election, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and told him to "find" 11,780 votes — the amount he would need to overturn his election loss in the state. Despite public outcry over the call, Trump has defended it, repeatedly insisting it was a "perfect" call.
Willis's office is also investigating a call between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and false claims Rudy Giuliani made about the election to the Georgia Senate. Her investigation began early last year, and she previously said she is hoping to wrap up the investigation within a year.
Willis got court approval for a special grand jury in January after she argued it was necessary because key witnesses had refused to cooperate with her investigation.
One example Willis gave of a witness who refused to cooperate was Raffensperger. She claimed in a letter to a judge in January that he refused to cooperate unless he was issued a subpoena.
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Willis said she expects witness testimonies to begin on June 1. There are at least 30 people who declined interviews for her inquiry. The special grand jury will give her the opportunity to compel them to testify. So far, she has indicated she interviewed 50 people and that her office is hoping to interview 60 more.