An Atlanta-area judge said Thursday he will not quash subpoenas for 11 of the “fake electors” who participated in a plan to subvert the Electoral College and are now targets of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Judge Robert McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court said he would let the parties work out a framework with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office regarding their appearance before the grand jury and potentially invoking their Fifth Amendment rights.
“I will not be quashing any of the subpoenas,” McBurney said during a motion hearing. “I’m going to let the parties develop the framework they want to use as we go forward,” he continued, adding that “It may be that the witnesses have very brief appearances in front of the grand jury.”
Court documents filed late Tuesday revealed that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had informed all 16 of the individuals who signed an “unofficial electoral certificate” that was ultimately sent to the National Archives in late 2020 they may be indicted in her probe.
Willis’ office informed lawyers for those fake electors that the status change from witness to target was the result of “new evidence” that has come to light over the course of the probe. “As our investigation has matured and new evidence has come to light, in a spirit of integrity we feel it only fitting to inform you that your clients’ status has changed to ‘Target,’” Willis’ office said, according to a defense filing.
The Trump campaign’s role in creating false election documents as a way to supplant Joe Biden’s win in Georgia has come under increasingly scrutiny by prosecutors in Georgia, as well as the Justice Department in recent months.
CNN previously reported that Trump campaign officials oversaw efforts to put forward illegitimate electors in seven swing states Trump lost. The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection has linked the effort to Trump’s “seven-part plan” to overturn the election that culminated in the US Capitol attack.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Sara Murray contributed to this report.