Sept 8 (Reuters) – A Georgia grand jury has recommended criminal charges against three Republican U.S. senators and other associates of Donald Trump as part of an investigation into Trump’s efforts to thwart his 2020 presidential bid, a statement released on Friday said.
A special grand jury recommended indicting Georgia’s two senators at the time, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, and South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham, the report showed.
The panel has also recommended charges against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, adviser Boris Epstein and attorneys Lynn Wood and Cleta Mitchell.
No one was ultimately charged when Georgia prosecutors filed a major criminal case against Trump and 18 co-conspirators.
Loeffler and Perdue are no longer in office.
The report was sealed for nine months.
A special grand jury was convened in 2021 at the request of Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis to assist in his investigation. Over the course of several months, jurors heard testimony from 75 witnesses, including Trump allies, his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Graham and Georgia’s top officials, such as Gov. Brian Kemp.
The Special Council has no power to issue charges. But Willis used evidence he gathered to win an indictment from a regular grand jury last month, accusing Trump and his co-defendants of overseeing a wide-ranging conspiracy to sabotage Democrat Joe Biden’s statewide victory.
The indictment lists 30 unindicted co-conspirators who were not charged but allegedly played a role in the scheme.
All 19 accused pleaded not guilty. As in his other three criminal cases, Trump has denied any wrongdoing and said he was the victim of political persecution.
Despite his legal troubles, he remains the frontrunner to challenge incumbent Biden for next year’s Republican presidential nomination.
The special grand jury report remained secret at Willis’ request while he determined what charges to bring. With the indictments released, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney wrote in an order last week that there is no longer any reason to keep them from the public.
Luke Cohen, reporting by Joseph Ax; By Andy Sullivan; Editing by Scott Malone, Daniel Wallis and Howard Koller
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