Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers are seeking to quash an Atlanta grand jury’s final report recommending charges in a wide-ranging investigation of election interference in Georgia while also calling for the recusal of the local district attorney’s office from the case.
In court documents filed Monday in Fulton County, Georgia, attorneys for the former president are also seeking to block prosecutors from using any information gathered by the special grand jury during its eight-month tenure.
more:Georgia grand jury recommends perjury charges for unnamed witnesses in Trump investigation
Trump battling multiple criminal inquiries
The new filing comes as Trump faces advancing criminal inquiries in multiple jurisdictions, including New York, where the Manhattan district attorney appears to be nearing a decision on whether to bring criminal charges involving a hush money payment Trump made to a porn star in the dying days of the 2016 campaign.
Trump caused a stir Saturday, saying that he expected to be charged in New York Tuesday, while calling for his supporters to stage demonstrations against any such action. His attorneys quickly acknowledged, however, that they had not provided any notification about the timing of possible charges.
On Monday, a former legal adviser to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, a central witness in the hush-money case, was expected to challenge Cohen’s credibility in an appearance before the grand jury.
Atlanta foreperson a target in Trump challenge
In Georgia, where Trump has been at the center of a separate criminal inquiry, the former president’s lawyers were seized on the recent public remarks of the special grand jury’s foreperson and subsequent statements by other panel members as having compromised the inquiry.
The public commentary, the lawyers asserted, “illustrate the lack of proper instruction and supervision over the grand jury.”
The panel completed its work and submitted a report to the district attorney, who in January said that a charging decision was “imminent.”
Grand jury secrecy pierced
Last month, foreperson Emily Kohrs said the panel had recommended indictments against multiple people on various charges after concluding its election fraud inquiry.
Kohrs, in multiple interviews with reporters, declined to name any of those who were referred for charges, including whether Trump was among them, in a final report delivered to Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis.
Referring to Trump, Kohrs said: “You are not going to be shocked,” according to The New York Times.
The Trump filing represents the first major challenge to the Georgia inquiry, which has been proceeding for more than two years.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
Trump lawyers: Inquiry compromised
Trump’s attorneys claimed that the investigation had been compromised from the start.
“President Trump was inextricably intertwined with this investigation since its inception,” the court document states. “The efforts under investigation squarely relate to his bid for a second term as president of the United States.”
Rep. Daniel Goldman, DN.Y., who served as lead counsel to the House committee during Trump’s first impeachment, said Trump launched his reelection bid as a form of self defense.
“With four separate criminal investigations into him, Donald Trump announced his candidacy absurdly early in order to create an ‘election interference’ defense,” Goldman tweeted. “This is a meritless, disingenuous, bogus and circular defense, created by himself to defend himself.”
Contributing: Bart Jansen