An attorney who previously worked in the Trump White House doesn’t think recent comments by a member of the Georgia grand jury tasked to issue a report on the 45th president’s efforts to undo his 2020 electoral loss there are going to mean too much in legal terms.
Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of the special grand jury authorized by a county judge in the Peach State to investigate election subversion efforts by the former president and his allies in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s victory, recently gave a series of interviews to various media outlets detailing some of what happened behind the scenes.
“I kind of wanted to subpoena the former president because I got to swear everybody in,” Kohrs said in one interview. “And so I thought it’d be really cool to get 60 seconds with president Trump of me looking at him, like, ‘Do you solemnly swear…?’ I just – I kind of just thought it would be an awesome moment.”
Since speaking out, her commentary, while not listing charges or discussing votes, has become a lightning rod for criticism.
Attorneys for Trump claim the 30-year-old’s attitude is evidence that the entire process is essentially a sham that has no credibility. Foes of the 45th president have grumbled that her comments may jeopardize efforts to prosecute anyone caught up in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ long-running investigation, Trump or otherwise.
But one attorney who previously worked for Trump – in the capacity of White House counsel – said he doubted Kohrs’ comments would alter the trajectory of what ultimately happens in the case.
“How much impact do you think that this grand juror’s comments are going to have, or should have, legally?” Law&Crime founder Dan Abrams asked attorney Ty Cobb during a Monday appearance on Abrams’ SiriusXM radio show.
“It’s difficult to say,” Cobb replied. “I do believe that it’s certainly been weird, unprecedented, and will be the fodder for defense motions and objections. But at the end of the day I don’t see it as being that consequential.”
SEE ALSO: Georgia Grand Jury Wraps up Probe into Trump’s Efforts to Overturn 2020 Election, as Judge Cues up Fight Over Making Report Public
“This is not the grand jury that would be returning charges,” Cobb continued, echoing an earlier point made by Abrams. “Those charges will be – have to be considered – considered by and presented to a separate grand jury. Which provides some insulation for this.”
Earlier this month, the special purpose grand jury report recommended “that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling” and found that at least one witness may have committed perjury, an unredacted passage notes.
Cobb said that while Kohrs’ comments wouldn’t have a formal impact, they very well might make their presence felt informally.
“The legal significance of it is, you know, strategic,” he said. “It’s not consequential in my view, but it is strategic, because, you know, a motion exploring further the relationships between the DA’s office and the grand jury and whatever grand jury irregularities that come to light will have more traction now than it ordinarily would have because of her comments and her discussion of deliberations.”
Some critics of Kohrs have said her comments to the media have included one of the topics that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney decided, in Kohrs’ own estimation, was verboten: deliberations of the grand jurors. Others have said her comments didn’t quite rise to the level of discussing deliberations.
SEE ALSO: ‘Denied’: Supreme Court Rejects Lindsey Graham’s Bid to Avoid Testifying Before Grand Jury in 2020 Election Subversion Probe
Cobb, for his part, said he believed she did discuss deliberations.
But the former Trump lawyer wasn’t convinced her comments would have much pull as Trump’s current legal team eventually works to bat down what comes out of the Willis investigation.
“You can’t say, ‘We discussed Trump a lot,’ and pretend that that doesn’t cross the line where you’re not supposed to talk about deliberations,” he said. “Strategically, it gives the Trump team room to move, and there will be some follow-up, and maybe an evidentiary hearing on this, which at the end of the day is not going to result in the dismissal of the indictment – whatever it may be – but it will certainly serve their purpose in trying to undermine the confidence of Georgians and the rest of the country in the fairness of the process.”
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