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Trump tries to quash special grand jury report on 2020 election, suppress evidence it amassed

Donald Trump and Fulton County DA Fani Willis

Donald Trump and Fulton County DA Fani Willis (Photo of Trump via Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images/ Photo of Willis via screenshot of video on DA’s website)

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team asked a judge in Georgia to quash a special grand jury report that could recommend charging him with 2020 election-related crimes.

They also want to suppress all evidence that they claim to have been “unconstitutionally derived” from it and disqualify the top prosecutor who led it: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D).

“As it relates to this investigation, Fulton County, Georgia has become a topic of conversation across the United States and internationally,” Trump’s Atlanta-based attorneys Drew Findling, Jennifer Little, and Marissa Goldberg wrote in the conclusion of their 51-page motion to quash.

Submitted with more than 400 pages of exhibits, the attorneys challenge Georgia statutes authorizing the use of special purpose grand juries, which investigate criminal matters and recommend charges but cannot issue indictments.

Separate grand juries, however, can rely upon their evidence to issue indictments.

Trump also accused District Attorney Willis as a “biased prosecutor with a personal interest,” citing social media activity that has caused trouble before for the elected Democratic prosecutor.

“The whole world has watched the process of the [special purpose grand jury] unfold and what they have witnessed was a process that was confusing, flawed and, at-times, blatantly unconstitutional,” Trump’s lawyers allege. “Given the scrutiny and the gravity of the investigation and those individuals involved — namely, the movant President Donald J. Trump, this process should have been handled correctly, fairly, and with deference to the law and the highest ethical standards.”

Trump’s legal team also claims that press interviews with special grand jury’s foreperson Emily Kohrs “illuminate the lack of proper instruction and supervision over the grand jury relating to clear evidentiary matters, which violates the notions of fundamental fairness and due process.”

In a particularly lengthy exhibit, Trump’s attorneys extensively quote Kohrs’ various media appearances, including the following quotes from an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, shortened with ellipses.

“We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump, and we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And will say that when this list comes out… there are no major plot twists waiting for you,” Kors said. “We heard a lot of recordings of President Trump on the phone… It is amazing how many hours of footage you can find of that man on the phone.”

The mammoth legal filing was widely panned, but Atlanta-based defense attorney Andrew Fleischman, from Sessions & Fleischman, says that the appropriate lens to view the motion is strategy, rather than legal merit.

“A lot of people think this filing is dumb,” Fleischman tweeted. “They’re wrong.”

“Legally accurate, no,” Fleischman conceded. “But if they can get a judge to actually deny their motion, they can argue that it’s directly appealable, and that the appeal stays indictment.”

“Delay is their very best friend,” he added. “This helps.”

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Trump’s counsel did not respond to an email requesting comment. Neither did the district attorney’s office.

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."