Trump Suggested A Witness ‘Shouldn’t’ Testify In Georgia’s Grand Jury Proceedings—Critics Say That’s Witness Intimidation

Topline

Former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social, his social media platform, on Monday saying Georgia’s former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan “shouldn’t” testify in grand jury proceedings this week regarding allegations that Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election results in the state—and some legal analysts are saying the post could be witness intimidation or tampering.

A number of critics and legal analysts have criticized former President Donald Trump for witness … [+] intimidation after he posted on Truth Social suggesting someone not testify before a Georgia grand jury. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Key Facts

Trump made the Truth Social post early Monday morning, saying he “barely” knows Duncan but that Duncan has been “a nasty disaster for those looking into the (Georgia) Election Fraud” because he wouldn’t call a special session to investigate Trump’s claims that the election was stolen.

George Conway—an attorney and separated husband of former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway—and former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade both took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to call the post “witness tampering,” with McQuade saying it was “witness tampering in real time.”

Ryan Goodman, former special counsel in the Department of Defense, tweeted a screenshot of Trump’s post alongside a screenshot of a Georgia law requiring that a judge find the defendant “poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses” before approving bail.

CNN’s top legal analyst, Elie Honig, said the post is “straight-up witness tampering, witness intimidation.”

Duncan hasn’t responded to Trump’s attack, though he tweeted on Saturday confirming he had been called as a witness, saying, “I look forward to answering their questions around the 2020 election.”

Per Georgia law, anyone who attempts to influence a witness is subject to felony charges and, if convicted, can face one to five years in prison; anyone who threatens a witness is subject to felony charges and, if convicted, faces 10 to 20 years in prison.

Tangent

Trump’s request for Duncan not to testify comes just days after Judge Tanya Chutkan—who is presiding over the federal case against Trump for his alleged involvement in trying to overturn the 2020 election—said that if more “inflammatory” statements are made about the case, she’ll have more urgency to move quickly so as to prevent witness intimidation. The Associated Press reported Chutkan—who has been the subject of Trump’s posts—also said it’s possible for “arguably ambiguous statements” to be understood as intimidation of potential witnesses.

Key Background

A grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, is hearing evidence against Trump and is expected to vote on an indictment this week against multiple people involved in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. District Attorney Fani Willis’ office launched its probe—which stemmed from a call with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump told him to “find” enough votes to overturn the 2020 presidential election—in 2021, and her office is expected to seek indictments for more than a dozen people in connection with it. In addition to the call, prosecutors also reportedly have text messages showing Trump and his allies—including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell—were involved with a hack into voting software in Coffee County.

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESJudge Says Trump’s Free Speech Rights Are ‘Not Absolute’ As She Limits What He Can SayBy William SkipworthMORE FROM FORBESGeorgia Prosecutors Have Texts Linking Trump Allies To Voting System Breach, Report Says-As Possible Charges LoomBy Molly BohannonAP NewsJudge warns of restraints to what evidence Trump can talk about, agrees to limited protective order

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