The Fulton County special grand jury listened to a phone call between former President Donald Trump and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston as part of their investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 Georgia election. , jury foreperson Emily Kohrs told NBC News on Wednesday.
During the December call, Trump tried to pressure the then-speaker to call a special legislative session to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, Kohrs said.
The recording of the call, which was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, lasted about 10 minutes, Kohrs said. He recalled that Trump asked Ralston who would prevent 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 speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, died in November.
Ralston’s former spokesman 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 «coordinated attempts to unlawfully tamper with the outcome of the 2020 election» in the state, completed its work in January and submitted a report on its findings to the District Attorney Fani. Willis.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled last month that parts of the grand jury report can be made public. McBurney also said in the ruling that the report includes recommendations on «who should (or should not) be charged and why,» but those parts would remain sealed for now.
A group of news organizations had asked him to make the report public, and he agreed with some of their reasoning.
“[W]While publication may not be convenient for the pace of the DA’s investigation, the compelling public interest in these proceedings and the unquestionable value and importance of transparency demand its publication,” McBurney wrote.
Willis’s office had asked that the entire report remain secret for now.
In unsealed portions of the report released last month, grand jury members said they believe some witnesses may have lied under oath.
«The majority of the grand jury believes that one or more witnesses who testified before it may have committed perjury,» said a section of the report released last month. «The grand jury recommends that the District Attorney pursue 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 more than a dozen people, which «could» include the former president.
“There are certainly names you will recognize, yes. There are also names you might not recognize,» Kohrs said in the «Nightly News interview.»
She said the list of recommended indictments is «not a short list» and that there were «definitely some names that she was hoping for, refusing to name anyone specifically in accordance with the judge’s instructions.
«I don’t think there are any giant plot twists coming,» Kohrs said. I wouldn’t expect you to be surprised.»
dareh gregorian contributed.