Emily Kohrs’ much criticized media tour may have no legal consequences in Georgia court

Emily Kohrs’ much criticized media tour may have no legal consequences in Georgia court

The New York Times reports:

Lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump said late Wednesday that details divulged this week by the forewoman of a special grand jury investigating election interference by Mr. Trump and his allies had “poisoned” the Georgia inquiry.

As of Thursday morning, however, the two lawyers had not filed any motions in court challenging the inquiry. Nor would they discuss what form such a challenge might take, saying only that they were weighing their options. “We’re just considering everything,” one of the lawyers, Drew Findling, said.

Earlier this week, the forewoman, Emily Kohrs, spoke in interviews with a number of news outlets after The Associated Press identified her through a public records request. She said that the 23-person special grand jury, which can only make recommendations on whether prosecutors should indict, had made such recommendations for more than a dozen people in the case. Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, who is handling the case, will ultimately make charging decisions and bring them to a regular grand jury.

Ms. Kohrs declined to name names or say which laws the jurors believed had been broken. But asked if Mr. Trump was among those recommended for indictment, she told The New York Times: “You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science.”

Some outside legal experts have said that Ms. Kohrs’s public comments present a headache, if nothing else, for prosecutors because the forewoman’s discussion of some elements of the case could be seen as diminishing the gravity of the proceedings. Others expressed doubt that they would have much impact, if any, on the case, in part because special grand juries cannot bring criminal charges.

Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for the Fulton County district attorney’s office, declined to comment on the Trump lawyers’ criticism of the case. He noted that the office had nothing to do with Ms. Kohrs’s media appearances.

Mr. Trump is seen as having two main areas of particular legal jeopardy in the Georgia inquiry: the calls he made to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 election, and his direct involvement in efforts to assemble an alternate slate of electors even after three vote counts affirmed President Biden’s victory in the state.

In the interviews — which laid out a number of details of her experience on the grand jury — Ms. Kohrs, 30, said she was trying to carefully follow the rules for jurors set out by the judge, Robert C.I. McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court. Judge McBurney has not barred the jurors from talking, though they are restricted from discussing their deliberations.

The lawyers, however, said that Ms. Kohrs, in discussing the case, had in fact divulged a number of matters that they believed constituted “deliberations,” including jurors’ discussions about “who to call, why to call them” and “what battles they wanted to fight,” Jennifer Little, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said.

But in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Judge McBurney said he told jurors that deliberations are only “the discussions they had amongst themselves when it was just the grand jurors in the room.” By contrast, if a witness or prosecutor was in the room, “that’s not deliberations,” he said. “They’re not prohibited from talking about that, nor are they prohibited from talking about the fruit of their deliberations, which would be the final report.” [Continue reading…]

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