ATLANTA — The release of the report compiled by a special purpose grand jury that investigated obstruction in the post-2020 election process in Georgia showed that there were nearly 40 people for whom indictments were recommended.
Ultimately, though, when Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis brought an actual indictment to a regular grand jury, just 19 were charged.
The natural question: What happened? What kept people such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Sen. David Perdue and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler - who were recommended for indictment by the special purpose grand jury - from actually being indicted?
Much of it comes down to speculation, but here's what we can say for certain.
Why some people recommended for indictment in the special purpose grand jury weren't actually indicted
It has to do with how special purpose grand juries work in Georgia.
Basically, they're investigative bodies. They hear evidence and ultimately issue a report with their findings.
In this case, the special purpose grand jury felt like nearly 40 people warranted indictment, but they don't have the power to make that call.
Instead, DA Willis brought an indictment with 19 people on it to a regular grand jury - which does have the power to vote for, or decline, the indictment and authorize charges.
Why Willis decided on the 19 who made it into the indictment could come down to a number of things - maybe she felt certain charges wouldn't fit into the RICO framework for some people, or believed the recommendation of the special purpose grand jury wouldn't quite hold up before a regular grand jury voting on indictment.
Whatever it was, the basic reason Lindsey Graham and others were recommended for indictment in Georgia, but not indicted, is that one legal body - the special purpose grand jury - can't actually vote for indictment, while another - the regular grand jury - can.
Special purpose grand jury's full report below