1. Exterior of the Fulton County Justice Center Tower
Atlanta - 4 January 2022
2. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in her office
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Fani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney:
"I have experienced people that are very displeased with the audacity of me to look into that matter and have expressed their frustration. And in a way that is so irrational that I believe that they would do me harm. I have put a team around me that I believe will keep me secure."
Atlanta - 5 January 2022
4 Exterior of the Fulton County Justice Center Tower
ANNOTATION: Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis is investigating possible attempts to interfere with the administration of the 2020 election, which Trump narrowly lost.
Atlanta - 4 January 2022
++SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY COVERED++
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Fani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney:
"And so this case is like any other case. We're going to just get the facts. Get the law. Be very methodical. Very patient. And in some extent, unemotional about this quest for justice."
The Georgia prosecutor who's looking into possible attempts by Donald Trump and others to influence the 2020 election said a decision on whether to bring charges could come as early as the first half of this year.
The investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis became public in February, when she sent letters to top elected officials in the state instructing them to preserve any records related to the general election, particularly any evidence of attempts to influence election officials. She said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that her team is making solid progress, and she said she's leaning toward asking for a special grand jury to aid the investigation.
But Willis said she has not imposed deadlines on her staff and has urged them to be thorough in their examination. She's assembled a team of fewer than 10 people — lawyers, investigators and a legal assistant — who are focused primarily on this case and will likely also consult outside lawyers with particular expertise in certain areas of law, she said.
"We're going to just get the facts, get the law, be very methodical, very patient and, in some extent, unemotional about this quest for justice," she said.
Willis declined to speak about the specifics, but she confirmed that the investigation's scope includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.
Willis said she has not yet decided whether to ask the chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court to impanel a special grand jury to investigate the case. While she could decide she has enough for an indictment based on evidence and witnesses who speak with her team willingly, she said, a special grand jury is helpful to compel people who refuse to testify without a subpoena.
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