Charges doable in summer time, DA says

Fani Willis, the District Attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, at her offices in the Fulton County Justice Center Tower in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

David Walter Banks | The Washington Post | Getty Images

The Georgia prosecutor, who led an election-interference probe into former President Donald Trump and his allies, said Monday she would announce indictment decisions on the matter this summer.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she plans to make her announcement during the Fulton County Superior Court’s fourth term, which begins July 11 and ends September 1.

The Atlanta area attorney general has been leading a criminal investigation into alleged interference in Georgia’s 2020 election for the past two years. The probe began weeks after Trump asked Georgia officials to “find” him enough votes to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

Willis provided the timeline for her announcement as she warned local law enforcement of “the need for increased security and preparedness in the coming months due to this upcoming announcement.”

“Open-source intelligence agencies have indicated that disclosure of decisions in this case could generate significant public reaction,” Willis said Monday in a letter to Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, seen by NBC News.

“We have seen in recent years that outside of public expression protected by the First Amendment, some commit acts of violence that threaten the security of our community. As leaders, we must prepare.” Willis has written.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on Willis’s letter to Labat. A Trump attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

Trump, who left the White House in 2021 and is now leading the Republican presidential field in 2024, surrendered to law enforcement in New York City earlier this month as part of a separate criminal investigation by the Manhattan Attorney’s Office.

Trump pleaded not guilty to dozens of counts of falsifying business records in that case, which focuses on multiple hush money payments in 2016 to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump years ago.

Law enforcement officials in Georgia were watching Trump’s indictment unfold in Manhattan, a source familiar with the Fulton County investigation previously told NBC.

Willis said in January that prosecution decisions in her investigation were “imminent.” A special grand jury hearing evidence in the inquest has reportedly recommended indictments against several people. Portions of the grand jury’s final report, released in February, showed the panel believed one or more witnesses may have lied under oath.

Trump also faces two federal criminal investigations overseen by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The former federal prosecutor was appointed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead an investigation into whether Trump or others unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power after the 2020 election, including events surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Smith is also investigating Trump for storing classified documents and other government records that were kept in Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House in early 2021.

And Trump faces a civil investigation into his business practices, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

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