WASHINGTON: A special grand jury that investigated former US President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia had recommended criminal charges against influential Senator Lindsey Graham, the panel’s final report shows.
The report, which was released in full on Friday after a judge’s order, also called on Georgia prosecutors to indict ex-White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and two former United States senators from the state, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
The grand jury’s recommendations were not binding and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who led the Georgia probe into 2020 election interference, ultimately did not charge Graham, Flynn, Perdue or Loeffler.
Last month, Willis filed criminal indictments against Trump and 18 others – including the ex-president’s lawyers, allies and associates – on accusations they joined a conspiracy to “unlawfully change the outcome” of the 2020 vote in Georgia. All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Friday’s report did not outline why the grand jury made its recommendations.
But it listed dozens of people that the panel said should be charged with “respect to the national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election”.
The grand jury, which consisted of 26 Atlanta-area residents, had subpoena power to compel testimonies and documents. It interviewed 75 witnesses over several months last year, the report said.
“The Grand Jury was impaneled to investigate a specific issue: The facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia,” it read.
Graham, a top Trump ally, testified before the grand jury in November 2022. The senator’s office did not immediately return Al Jazeera’s request for comment on Friday.
Speaking to reporters in South Carolina on Friday afternoon, Graham said he did nothing wrong.
He said he “called around different states, including Georgia”, as part of his duties as a US senator and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to seek information on 2020 election fraud allegations.
Trump and his allies had falsely said that the vote, which the Republican leader lost to Democrat Joe Biden, was “stolen” through widespread voter fraud.
“I eventually certified the election in all states, including Georgia. I didn’t find any evidence of mass voter fraud, but I did have concerns about the mail-in ballot systems in Georgia and other places,” Graham said.
He added: “At the end of the day, nothing happened. What I did was consistent with my job as being a United States senator [and] chairman of the judiciary committee.”
Trump, who remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, was not subpoenaed and did not testify before the Georgia grand jury.
Willis launched the investigation that led to the charges shortly after Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during a January 2021 call to “find” enough votes to deliver him a victory in the state, which he lost to Biden.
The Georgia case is the second indictment accusing Trump of election interference and the fourth set of criminal charges against him so far this year.
He was arraigned in early August on four federal charges related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 vote, and in June, he was indicted in the US state of Florida on allegations he mishandled secret government documents.
He was also charged in New York state on accusations he improperly altered business records to conceal a hush-money payment made to an adult-film star in advance of the 2016 elections.
Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing in all the cases, saying they are an attempt to derail his re-election campaign.