A Fulton County special grand jury heard a phone call between former President Donald Trump and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston as part of an investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, jury forerunner Emily Kohrs told NBC News on Wednesday. told.
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 states, Kohrs said.
The call recording, which was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, lasted about 10 minutes, Kohrs said. He recalled that Trump asked Ralston what would stop him from holding the special session. According to Kohrs, Ralston replied, “A federal judge, that’s who.”
Ralston, a Republican who spent more than a decade as Georgia’s House speaker, died in November.
A former spokeswoman for Ralston 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 associates made “coordinated efforts to unlawfully alter the results of the 2020 election” in the state, completed its work in January, giving District Attorney Fani its findings. submitted a report on Willis.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled last month that parts of the grand jury’s report could be made public. McBurney also said in the decision that the report included recommendations “to whom it should (or should not) be, and to whom,” but those portions remain sealed for now.
A group of news organizations petitioned him to make the report public, and he agreed with some of their arguments.
,[W]While publication may not be convenient for the speed of the District Attorney’s investigation, the compelling public interest in these proceedings and the undeniable value and importance of transparency require their release,” McBurney wrote.
Willis’ office had asked that the full report be kept secret for the time being.
In unsealed portions of the report released last month, grand jury members said they believed some witnesses may have lied under oath.
“The majority of the grand jury is of the opinion that perjury may have been given by one or more witnesses,” said part of the report released last month. “The grand jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for crimes where the evidence is compelling.”
In an interview with NBC News’ “Nightly News” last month, Kohrs said the grand jury recommended indicting more than a dozen people, including “potentially” former presidents.
“There are definitely names you would recognize, yes. There are also names you might not,” Kohrs said in the interview.
She said the list of recommended indictments was “not a short list,” and “certainly there were some names you’d expect,” refusing to name anyone specifically per the judge’s instructions.
Kohrs said, “I don’t think there’s any huge plot twist coming.” I wouldn’t expect you to be surprised.
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