Timeline: Criminal probe into Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia election results

Trump asked the Georgia secretary of state to "find 11,780 votes" in 2021.

July 2, 2024, 10:05 AM

On Jan. 2, 2021, former President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" the votes needed to win the state in the 2020 election.

The now-infamous phone call helped spark a criminal investigation launched the following month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looking into the efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Here's a look at how the probe -- one of several investigations involving the former president -- has unfolded so far.

Former President Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his legal team in a Manhattan court, April 4, 2023, in New York.
Seth Wenig/AP

Nov. 3, 2020

Voters head to the polls in the 2020 general election.

Nov. 7, 2020

Multiple media organizations, including ABC News, call the election for Joe Biden based on the projected electoral vote count, as several states, including Georgia, have yet to be projected.

Nov. 10, 2020

The Trump campaign requests a hand recount in Georgia, where Biden leads by about 14,000 votes out of nearly 5 million cast in the presidential race.

Nov. 11, 2020

Raffensperger, a Republican, announces that due to how slim the vote margin is between Biden and Trump, the state's planned audit will trigger a "full by-hand recount in each county" of the presidential race.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger attends the National Association of Secretaries of State winter meeting, Feb. 16, 2023, in Washington.
Patrick Semansky/AP

Nov. 19, 2020

The results of Georgia's statewide audit, which entailed that counties recount by hand every vote cast in the presidential race, reaffirm Biden as the winner -- by a margin of 12,284 votes. It's the first time since 1992 that a Democrat will win the state.

Nov. 20, 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffensperger certify the results of the general election, making it official that Biden won the state's 16 electoral votes.

Nov. 24, 2020

Georgia's 159 counties start counting the votes cast in the presidential race for a third time, after the Trump campaign requests a machine recount.

Dec. 6, 2020

Raffensperger defends the integrity of the general election, telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview on "This Week" that his office has yet to find evidence supporting "systemic fraud" that would change the outcome.

Dec. 7, 2020

Raffensperger and Kemp recertify the state's election results after a recount requested by Trump confirms once again that Biden won the state. The audit found that Biden won by a margin of 11,779 votes.

Dec. 22, 2020

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff at the time, visits Georgia's Cobb County to observe a signature match audit.

Dec. 23, 2020

Amid the signature match audit in Cobb County, Trump phones a chief investigator in Raffensperger's office to discuss the audit, telling the investigator they would be praised for finding errors in the vote count, according to an individual familiar with the call.

Jan. 2, 2021

In an hourlong phone call obtained by ABC News, Trump calls Raffensperger and falsely claims that it was "not possible" for him to have lost and asks the secretary to "find 11,780 votes" -- the exact number Trump needed to win Georgia.

"The people of Georgia are angry. The people of the country are angry, and there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated," Trump says on the call. "All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. ... Fellas, I need 11,000 votes, give me a break."

Meadows was also heard speaking on the call.

Raffensperger challenged the president's allegations, saying the data Trump is citing about tens of thousands of illegal votes "is wrong."

Feb. 10, 2021

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis notifies Kemp that her office has launched an investigation into efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

The letter asked state officials to preserve any documents potentially related to the 2020 general election, "with particular care given to set aside and preserve those that may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering" it, which would include Trump's phone call with Raffensperger.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks at a news conference in Atlanta, May 11, 2021.
Linda So/Reuters, FILE

Jan. 20, 2022

Willis requests to seat a special grand jury in her probe, according to a letter obtained by ABC News. In the letter to Fulton County Chief Judge Christopher Brasher, Willis wrote that the move is needed because "a significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony."

May 2, 2022

Twenty-six jurors are selected for a special grand jury in Willis' investigation.

The special grand jury does not have the ability to return an indictment and can only make recommendations concerning criminal prosecution. Should charges be recommended, it would then be up to Willis to determine whether or not to pursue them.

July 19, 2022

New court documents reveal that 16 people identified as "fake electors" have been notified that they are targets of the Fulton County district attorney's criminal investigation, new court documents reveal.

Aug. 15, 2022

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is informed he is considered a "target" of the Fulton County district attorney's probe, according to sources familiar with the matter. Among his efforts to overturn the state's election results, Giuliani appeared during a December 2020 hearing before state lawmakers at which he presented since-debunked allegations that poll workers had suitcases containing illegitimate ballots.

Nov. 1, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court rejects Sen. Lindsey Graham bid to block a subpoena for testimony before the special grand jury. Graham, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, called Georgia election officials to discuss the election.

Nov. 8, 2022

Voters head to the polls in Georgia for a primary election where Raffensperger is up for reelection for his secretary of state seat. Trump supports Rep. Jody Hice in the primary.

Nov. 18, 2022

A hand count of random batches of votes confirms Raffensperger has won reelection, state election officials announce.

Jan. 9, 2023

A new filing indicates that the special grand jury has finished its work and submitted its final report following months of closed-door testimony.

The jurors heard testimony from some of Trump's closest allies and supporters, including lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and Sen. Graham.

Jan. 24, 2023

Willis says during a hearing that charging decisions in the case are "imminent."

Feb. 13, 2023

Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney rules that portions of the special grand jury's report can be released in the coming days, though the majority of the report will remain sealed. Willis had argued for the report to remain sealed, saying that it was important to "be mindful of protecting future defendants' rights."

Feb. 16, 2023

Excerpts from the special grand jury's report are released, revealing that the jury has recommended to prosecutors that they seek indictments against witnesses who they believe may have lied during their testimony.

"A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it," the grand jury wrote in the report. "The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling."

The excerpts from the report do not list any names of those who grand jury members believe may have committed perjury nor offer any rationale for its allegations of perjury.

There are also no details revealed regarding whether or not the grand jury recommended charges for anyone related to efforts to overturn the election. The excerpts do not identify any of the 75 witnesses interviewed and do not mention Trump by name.

Following their release, a spokesperson for Trump said the excerpts "have nothing to do with the President because President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong."

"The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do -- in fact, as President, it was President Trump's Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity," the spokesperson said.

Feb. 21, 2023

In a series of print and television interviews, Emily Kohrs, the foreperson of the special grand jury, reveals that jurors recommended charges for several individuals, without naming any of them -- and intimated that the former president is among them.

"You're not going to be shocked," Kohrs told The New York Times about whether her panel recommended charges against Trump. "It's not rocket science."

March 20, 2023

Trump's attorneys file motions in Fulton County Superior Court and with the Georgia Supreme Court seeking to throw out the special grand jury report and remove the district attorney's office leading the investigation.

April 24, 2023

Willis indicates her office will announce any charging decisions sometime between July 11 and Sept. 1, 2023, in a letter to law enforcement.

May 5, 2023

Eight of the "fake electors" accept immunity in the Fulton County district attorney's probe into the matter, according to their lawyer.

District Attorney Fani Willis is shown inside her office chambers in the Fulton County Justice Center Tower, Sept. 20, 2022, in Atlanta.
David Walter Banks/The Washington Post via Getty Images

July 11, 2023

Willis empanels a new grand jury that could ultimately decide whether to approve charges against Trump.

July 17, 2023

The Georgia Supreme Court denies the request by Trump to quash the findings of the special grand jury and remove Willis from the probe.

July 29, 2023

Senior Superior Court Judge Stephen Schuster, responding to a third motion filed by Trump seeking to disqualify Willis from the election probe, schedules a hearing for Aug. 10. The motion had been filed on July 20, after the Georgia Supreme Court denied a similar request.

July 31, 2023

Judge McBurney denies the motion filed with Fulton County Superior Court by Trump's legal team seeking to disqualify Willis and quash the findings of a special grand jury convened to review evidence in the matter.

Willis, meanwhile, signals that an indictment of the former president could be imminent, telling a local news outlet, "We've been working for two and a half years -- we're ready to go."

Aug. 4, 2023

Trump's attorneys file a notice of appeal, signaling their intent to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court Judge McBurney's ruling denying Trump's motion to remove Willis from the probe and quash the special grand jury's report.

The filing comes a day after Trump drops his other remaining motion seeking to have Willis removed from the case.

Aug. 8, 2023

Sources tell ABC News that Willis is likely to go before the grand jury the following week to present her case so the panel can weigh potential charges.

In the meantime, following a day of dueling motions from the special counsel's office and Trump's legal team regarding a proposed protective order in the case, Judge Chutkan schedules a hearing on the matter for Friday, Aug. 11.

Aug. 9, 2023

ABC News reports that a newly revealed memo from Dec. 6, 2020, details a plan by Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro to pursue slates of supposedly "alternate" electors in order to prevent Biden from amassing 270 electoral votes.

Prosecutors say Chesebro was working with the Trump legal team to find ways to challenge the outcome of the election in order to keep Trump in office.

Aug. 10, 2023

Willis, responding to a recent attack ad from Trump, issues an internal memo to her staff urging them not to respond and telling them that "This is business, it will never be personal," according to a copy of the memo obtained by ABC News.

"We have no personal feelings against those we investigate or prosecute and we should not express any," Willis writes.

Aug. 12, 2023

Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and journalist George Chidi, who were previously subpoenaed in the probe, are called to appear early the following week before the grand jury in the case, as Willis is expected to being presenting the case to the panel so they can weigh potential charges.

Duncan, a Republican, has been a vocal critic of Trump and efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. Democratic Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan is also subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury, her spokesperson tells ABC News.

Aug. 14, 2023

Trump and 18 others are charged by Willis in a sweeping racketeering indictment over their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. The indictment alleges they solicited state leaders throughout the country, harassed and misled a Georgia election worker, and pushed phony claims that the election was stolen, all in an effort for Trump to remain in power despite his election loss.

Among those indicted in the alleged scheme are some of Trump's closet advisers from his time as president, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows and his one-time personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Trump's campaign calls the indictment "un-American and wrong." The former president says that his actions were not illegal and that the investigation is politically motivated.

Aug. 22, 2023

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, as part of the bond arrangements for the 19 defendants in the Georgia case, sets Trump's bail at $200,000.

Per Georgia law, the bond can be paid through cash, a commercial surety, or a court program that requires a payment of 10% of the bond amount.

Aug. 24, 2023

Trump and the 18 other defendants in the DA's case surrender to authorities at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta. Trump and 17 other defendants are processed and released on bail, with one defendant being held without bond.

After Trump is released on a $200,000 bond, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office releases his mug shot -- the first one ever taken of a former U.S. president. Although Trump has been indicted in three other criminal cases, it is the first time a jurisdiction has required a mug shot be taken of the former president.

Former President Donald Trump is shown in a booking photo released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.
Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Four defendants -- former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer and recently elected Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still -- file motions seeking to have their cases moved from Georgia state court into federal court.

Attorney Kenneth Chesebro files a motion for a speedy trial, prompting DA Willis to request a trial start date of Oct. 23, 2023, for all 19 defendants -- leading Judge McAfee to schedule an Oct. 23 trial date for Chesebro only.

Aug. 28, 2023

Mark Meadows, seeking to have his case moved from Georgia state court into federal court, testifies about his election-related actions in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Steve Jones. Meadows' attorneys argue that his case should be tried in federal court because Meadows' actions were all performed "under color" of his role as chief of staff, while prosecutors contend that his actions were political in nature and not part of his official duties.

Judge McAfee, meanwhile, sets the date of Sept. 6 for Trump and his 18 co-defendants to be arraigned on charges.

Aug. 29, 2023

Willis, in a filing, asks Judge McAfee for clarification on whether the Oct. 23 trial date he set for Cheseboro means that he is severing Chesebro's case from the other 18 defendants -- reiterating to the judge that her preference is to try all 19 defendants together.

The filing comes as defendants Ray Smith III, Sidney Powell and Trevian Kutti waive their formal arraignment and enter a plea of not guilty to all charges, in order to be excused from appearing at their scheduled arraignments on Sept. 6.

In a separate filing, Kenneth Chesebro asks Judge McAfee to unseal many of the underlying records in the case, including the special grand jury report that recommended charges, the transcripts of testimony heard by the panel, and any recordings of the proceedings.

Aug. 30, 2023

Trump's attorneys, citing the right to a fair trial and due process, file a motion opposing Willis' request that all 19 defendants be tried together.

The filing comes as Harrison Floyd -- the only one of the 19 defendants to be held overnight after surrendering to authorities the previous week -- is released from the Fulton County Jail, according to the inmate database.

Aug. 31, 2023

Trump enters a plea of not guilty so he does not have to appear at his scheduled arraignment on Sept. 6, then files a motion to sever his case from other defendants who have requested a speedy trial.

Sept. 6, 2023

Judge McAfee sets an Oct. 23 trial date for defendants Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, but holds off on determining what will be done with the other 17 defendants, including Trump. McAfee says he's "very skeptical" of Willis' plan to try all 19 co-defendants together, but tells prosecutors, "I'm willing to hear what you have to say on it."

By the end of the day, all 19 defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Sept. 7, 2023

Attorneys for Trump notify a Georgia state court in Fulton County that they may seek to remove his election interference case to federal court.

Sept. 8, 2023

The public release of the full report issued in February by the special purpose grand jury that aided in the DA's initial election investigation reveals that Sen. Lindsey Graham and two other senators were among those that the panel recommended for charges -- though none of the three were ultimately charged in the case. In total, the special purpose grand jury recommended charges against 39 individuals, 19 of whom ended up being charged by the DA.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Georgia denies Meadows' bid to remove his case from Georgia state court into federal court.

Sept. 11, 2023

Meadows files an emergency motion asking the judge to stay his order rejecting Meadows' request to move his case, pending the appeals process.

Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, files a motion seeking to sever his case, making him the latest defendant seeking to separate himself from defendants Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, who are set to stand trial on Oct. 23.

Sept. 12, 2023

Lawyers for Chesebro file a motion to dismiss the charges against him, arguing that his actions were "justified" because he was acting "within his capacity as a lawyer" for the Trump campaign.

Sept. 13, 2023

An appeals court schedules oral arguments for later in the week on an emergency motion filed by Meadows, which seeks to pause a lower court's ruling that denied his effort to move his case to federal court, pending appeal. The court also grants Meadows' separate request for an expedited appeal, and sets an initial briefing schedule on the matter.

Sept. 14, 2023

In a blow to prosecutors, Judge McAfee severs the case, ordering that 17 defendants -- including Trump -- will not be tried alongside speedy trial defendants Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell on Oct. 23.

Prosecutors, in the meantime, agree to disclose to the defense the identities of the 30 unindicted co-conspirators referenced in their indictment, as requested by Chesebro.

Sept. 18, 2023

An attorney for former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark argues that his case should be removed to federal court because Clark's drafting a letter to send to Georgia officials claiming there was evidence of voter fraud would have been "impossible" if he wasn't acting under the color of his federal office. Prosecutors rebuff that argument, saying Clark's office only had limited authority over election fraud matters.

Sept. 20, 2023

Judge Steve Jones hears arguments from so-called "alternate electors" David Shafer, Shawn Still and Cathy Latham as to why their cases should be removed to federal court.

Later in the day, the DA reveals in a court filing that pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood will be among the prosecution witnesses in the case.

Sept. 21, 2023

Several high-level Trump allies -- including Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn -- could potentially be called as witnesses in the first Georgia election interference trial, according to a court filing in the case.

Sept. 28, 2023

Attorneys for Trump notify a Fulton County court that he will not seek to have his Georgia election interference case removed to federal court. A month prior, Trump had notified the court that he may file to remove, which the new filing says was done "in an abundance of caution."

Sept. 29, 2023

Scott Hall, a Georgia bail bondsman charged in relation to the alleged breach of voting machine equipment in Coffee County, takes a plea deal in which he will agree to testify against others in the case. The arrangement marks the first plea deal in the case.

Meanwhile, Judge Steve Jones rejects the efforts of all the remaining defendants who had sought removal of their cases to federal court. The judge rules that former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark and so-called "alternate electors" David Shafer, Cathy Latham and Shawn Still have not met the requirements to have their cases moved from Georgia state court into federal court.

Oct. 3, 2023

Sources tell ABC News that a number of defendants in the case have received plea deal offers or have been approached about potentially making a deal by the district attorney's office.

Oct. 4, 2023

Kenneth Chesebro files a motion to dismiss his case, alleging that Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who was brought in by the district attorney to help with the election interference investigation, didn't file the oath of office required to join the DA's team.

Oct. 5, 2023

Judge McAfee denies the request from former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell to have the case against her dismissed over allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Oct. 6, 2023

Judge McAfee denies Kenneth Chesebro's motion seeking to dismiss his case over an alleged paperwork error by one of the prosecutors, saying that filing of the oath of office is not required by those working only on one specific case.

Oct. 10, 2023

Fulton County prosecutors files requests seeking the testimony of Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel and InfoWars host Alex Jones in the Oct. 23 trial of Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro.

Oct. 16, 2023

Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is granted a hearing by the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals over his continued effort to move his Fulton County case into federal court. The appeals court sets oral arguments for Dec. 15.

Oct. 18, 2023

ABC News reports that Kenneth Chesebro, in late September, rejected a plea offer from prosecutors, according to sources. The deal would have allowed Chesebro to avoid prison time by pleading guilty to one felony count of racketeering and agreeing to testify against his co-defendants in the case, according to the sources.

Oct. 19, 2023

One day before jury selection is set to get underway in her trial, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell takes a plea deal in which she receives probation in exchange for agreeing to testify in the case.

Powell, who prosecutors accused of helping tamper with voting machines in Coffee County, becomes the second of the case's 19 defendants in the case to strike a plea agreement.

Oct. 20, 2023

Kenneth Chesebro, a key co-defendant in the case, takes a last-minute plea deal just as jury selection for his trial is getting underway.

The attorney, who prosecutors say drafted a strategy to use so-called "alternate electors" to prevent Joe Biden from receiving 270 electoral votes in the 2020 election, pleads guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy to commit filing of false documents, and will receive five years' probation and a $5,000 fine in exchange for agreeing to testify and provide documents and evidence.

Oct. 24, 2023

Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis becomes the fourth defendant to take a plea deal, tearfully admitting in court that she made up details about election fraud and saying that she regretted representing the former president.

She pleads guilty to one count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, and will receive probation in exchange for her testimony in the case.

Nov. 13, 2023

ABC News obtains video excerpts of proffer interviews Georgia prosecutors held with attorneys Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell as part of the plea deals they struck in the case.

Among other revelations, Ellis tells prosecutors in the video that senior Trump White House official Dan Scavino, referring to Trump, told her at a White House Christmas party weeks after the 2020 election that "the boss is not going to leave under any circumstances" despite losing the election.

Nov. 16, 2023

Judge McAfee issues a protective order in the case following a request from Willis' office in light of the publication of proffer interview videos by ABC News and other media outlets. The order requires the state to designate which discovery materials they believe are sensitive -- and are thus protected from being made public -- and gives the defendants an opportunity to challenge that.

Nov. 17, 2023

Fulton County prosecutors, in a court filing, request a start date of Aug. 5, 2024, for the trial of Trump and his co-defendants.

The filing, which asks that all the defendants be tried together, says the August date "balances potential delays from Defendant Trump's other criminal trials," as well as the other defendants' constitutional speedy-trial rights.

Nov. 21, 2023

Judge McAfee rejects a request from prosecutors to revoke the bond of co-defendant Harrison Floyd, after the DA says he engaged in witness intimidation by posting multiple tweets tagging witnesses in the case.

Dec. 1, 2023

Trump's attorneys tell a Fulton County court that the indictment against Trump "needs to be dismissed" on the grounds that it prosecutes conduct protected by the First Amendment, during a pair of hearings in which lawyers for the former president and several of his co-defendants seek the dismissal of the case or a delay in the case's upcoming deadlines.

Dec. 15, 2023

Three judges on 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pepper attorneys for former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the Fulton County district attorney's office with questions during a hearing on Meadows' ongoing effort to move the charges against him into federal court.

Dec. 18, 2023

A federal appeals court in Georgia rejects a bid by former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to move his case into federal court, affirming a lower court's decision that left it in Georgia state court.

The ruling comes on the same day that Trump, in a court filing, urges the judge in the case to dismiss all charges against him on First Amendment grounds, arguing that the DA's indictment seeks to criminalize "core political speech."

Jan. 8, 2024

A defendant in the election interference case, former Trump campaign staffer Michael Roman, files a motion seeking to dismiss the charges against him and disqualify DA Fani Willis, alleging that Willis "engaged in a personal, romantic relationship" with Nathan Wade, one of the top prosecutors she brought in to work on the case, which allegedly resulted in financial gain for both of them.

Separately, Trump's legal team files several new motions seeking to dismiss the case against him on grounds that include presidential immunity, which they say "shields him from criminal prosecution."

Jan. 12, 2024

During a hearing to hear motions from several defendants in the case, Judge McAfee tells attorneys there will likely be a hearing in early February, at the earliest, to address allegations filed against Willis that she had an inappropriate relationship with prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Jan. 14, 2024

Willis, speaking during a Sunday church service celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, appears to acknowledge the improper relationship allegations leveled against her, while also defending the special prosecutor she brought in for the election interference case.

Jan. 18, 2024

Judge McAfee sets a hearing date of Feb. 15 to hear evidence over allegations that Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade were having an improper relationship.

Jan. 19, 2024

The credit card statements of Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade appear to show he paid for multiple trips for him and Willis, according to copies of the statements included in a filing submitted by Wade's wife as part their divorce proceedings.

Jan. 22, 2024

The Georgia judge overseeing Nathan Wade's divorce case issues a stay of Fani Willis' deposition in the case, saying that he will wait until after Wade is deposed in the proceedings the following week to determine whether Willis should be deposed.

Jan. 25, 2024

Attorneys representing Trump move to join the motion filed by co-defendant Mike Roman that seeks to disqualify Willis and dismiss the criminal charges against him based on allegations of an improper relationship.

Jan. 30, 2024

On the eve of a hearing in the divorce proceedings of prosecutor Nathan Wade and his wife, the two come to a "temporary agreement" that cancels the hearing, preventing what could have been sworn testimony from Wade and the possible release of any records pertaining to the allegations involving Wade and Willis that could have arisen at the hearing.

Jan. 31, 2024

ABC News reports that DA Fani Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade have been subpoenaed to testify at the Feb. 15 hearing set by Judge McAfee, according to a new lawsuit from election case co-defendant Michael Roman's attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, that accuses Willis' office office of "stonewalling" Merchant's efforts to obtain records from the office through public information requests.

Feb 2, 2024

A court filing from Fulton County DA Fani Willis admits to a "personal relationship" with prosecutor Nathan Wade, but argues that there is "no financial conflict of interest that constitutes a legal bases for disqualification" from the election interference case. The filing requests that the Feb. 15 evidentiary hearing scheduled to examine the allegations against Willis and Wade be canceled, claiming that "no further factual development is necessary."

Feb 7, 2024

Trump, in a court filing, renews his request to have Willis disqualified and his election charges dismissed, arguing that comments Willis made during her church speech in early January violated her office's ethics requirements.

Feb 9, 2024

Trump co-defendant Michael Roman files a motion accusing Willis of including falsehoods in her filing that admitted to a "personal relationship" with prosecutor Nathan Wade, saying he has a witness who will refute Willis' claim that her and Wade's relationship started after Wade was hired for the election case.

Feb 12, 2024

Saying that it's "possible" misconduct allegations leveled against DA Fani Willis "could result in disqualification" if evidence shows she financially benefited from the case, Judge McAfee confirms that the Feb. 15 hearing on the matter will proceed as scheduled.

Feb 15, 2024

On the first day of the evidentiary hearing into misconduct allegations against prosecutor Nathan Wade and DA Fani Willis, Wade testifies under oath that his romantic relationship with Willis began after she hired him in November 2021, and that when the two of them traveled together Willis often paid him back in cash so that expenses roughly "balanced out." Wade also testifies that he visited Willis' condo less than 10 times prior to his being hired.

Willis, on the stand, blasts the allegations against her and testified that her and Wade's romantic relationship didn't start until after Wade's hiring, saying, "I didn't consider my relationship with him to be romantic before that."

Feb 16, 2024

On Day 2 of the hearing, Terrence Bradley, Wade's former law partner and divorce attorney, largely declines to answer questions, citing attorney-client privilege. Bradley, whom the defense has claimed has evidence that Wade and Willis' relationship began before Wade was hired, testifies that he had "no personal knowledge" of when the relationship started, but acknowledges that Wade had told him about "socializing" with Willis prior to November 2021.

Judge Scott McAfee says he was "left wondering" about whether Bradley had "been properly interpreting privilege," and says he will need to examine Bradley in private to make that determination.

Feb 23, 2024

Attorneys for Trump submit a request to enter new evidence based on Wade's cellphone records, which they claims show that Wade visited the area of Willis' condo approximately 35 times in 2021, prior to her hiring him. The DA's office urges the judge not to admit the records into evidence, saying they "do nothing more" than show that Wade's phone "was located somewhere within a densely populated multiple-mile radius."

Feb 26, 2024

Judge McAfee rules that Wade's former law partner and divorce attorney, Terrence Bradley, must retake the stand to testify on topics not covered by attorney-client privilege.

Feb 27, 2024

A two-hour hearing concludes without providing any revelatory information about the timeline of Willis and Wade's romantic relationship, which the defense contends started before Wade was hired, in contrast to what they both testified.

Wade's former law partner and divorce lawyer, Terrence Bradley, who the defense argued would testify that the relationship started prior to Wade's hiring, testifies that any past statements he made to that effect were "speculation on my part."

March 1, 2024

Judge McAfee hears final arguments on motions to disqualify DA Fani Willis, with the defense arguing that Willis and Nathan Wade conspired to bring the election case to enrich themselves with public money, and attorneys for the DA's office arguing that defendants have failed to meet the "high standard of proof" for disqualification.

March 5, 2024

DA Fani Willis' office urges Judge McAfee to reject the disqualification effort against her, arguing in a court filing that Trump and his co-defendants failed to meet the "high" standard required by law to disqualify an elected district attorney. In response, the defense says in a filing that that Willis committed "appalling and unforgivable" forms of forensic misconduct.

March 6, 2024

Ashleigh Merchant, the lead attorney pushing for the disqualification of DA Fani Willis, provides new testimony to a Georgia Senate panel about how she says she uncovered the romantic relationship between Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade that sits at the heart of the misconduct allegations.

March 13, 2024

Judge McAfee quashes multiple counts contained in the election interference indictment against Trump and several of his co-defendants, dismissing six counts related to the charge of Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer. Of the 13 counts Trump faced, three of them are tossed by the judge's order, leaving Trump to face 10 counts in the case.

March 15, 2024

In a highly anticipated ruling, Judge McAfee declines to outright disqualify Fulton County DA Fani Willis, but rules that either she or prosecutor Nathan Wade must step aside from the case. The judge writes that while "dismissal of the indictment is not the appropriate remedy," his conclusion is that "the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team."

Hours later, Wade resigns as special prosecutor, ensuring that Willis will stay on.

March 18, 2024

Trump and several of his co-defendants file a motion asking Judge McAfee to grant a certificate of immediate review in order to appeal the judge's ruling that ultimately kept Fulton County DA Fani Willis on the election case.

March 20, 2024

Judge McAfee grants the request from Trump and several co-defendants to obtain a certificate of immediate review, clearing the way for Trump to appeal the judge's ruling that ultimately kept Willis on the case.

March 25, 2024

Judge McAfee, vowing to keep the election case moving forward during any potential appeal, schedules a March 28 hearing to hear oral arguments on a number of motions from Trump and his co-defendant David Shafer.

March 27, 2024

DA Fani Willis, in a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, says that her office has fully complied with a congressional subpoena related to a federal funding probe, and vows that "nothing that you do will derail the efforts of my staff and I to bring the election interference prosecution to trial."

March 28, 2024

Attorneys for Trump, seeking to have the election case dismissed, argue in a hearing that Trump's comments "calling into question" the election of 2020 were "political speech advocacy that lie at the heart of the First Amendment" -- but prosecutors fire back, telling Judge McAfee that Trump's speech was part of a conspiracy to commit crimes. The judge ends the hearing without making any rulings on the motions.

March 29, 2024

Trump and several of his co-defendants file an appeal of the disqualification ruling that allowed Fulton County DA Fani Willis to remain on the case. The motion argues that Judge McAfee "erred as a matter of law by not requiring dismissal and DA Willis' disqualification."

April 4, 2024

Judge McAfee denies a motion from Trump and several of co-defendants seeking to have the case thrown out on the grounds that the indictment violated their First Amendment right to political speech. "Even core political speech addressing matters of public concern is not impenetrable from prosecution if allegedly used to further criminal activity," the judge rules.

April 24, 2024

Trump, in a court filing, asks Judge McAfee to dismiss two more of the 10 remaining counts against him.

May 5, 2024

Nathan Wade, in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Linsey Davis, says he has certain regrets about the relationship with DA Fani Willis that ultimately resulted in his resigning form the case, but defends the integrity of the case itself and says he believes there will be a "day of reckoning" despite the case being sidelined for months over scandal.

May 8, 2024

A Georgia appeals court agrees to take up Trump's appeal of the Fani Willis disqualification ruling that ultimately allowed her to remain on the Georgia election interference case, likely delaying the case against the former president.

May 23, 2024

DA Fani Willis files a notice of appeal on the March ruling that dismissed six of the counts against Donald Trump and his co-defendants.

June 3, 2024

The Georgia Court of Appeals tentatively schedules oral arguments in former President Trump's appeal of the Fani Willis disqualification ruling for October, making it almost certain that Trump will not see trial in his Georgia election interference case before the 2024 election.

June 5, 2024

A Georgia court of appeals halts former President Trump's criminal case in Fulton County pending the resolution of his appeal of the disqualification ruling that allowed District Attorney Fani Willis to stay on the case.

June 20, 2024

Trump's attorneys, in a court filing, urge the Georgia Court of Appeals to reject DA Fani Willis' effort to dismiss his appeal of the judge's decision not to disqualify her from the case.

July 1, 2024

In a blockbuster decision that could affect Trump's Georgia case, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Trump's federal election interference case that the former president is entitled to presumptive immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts taken while in office.

Related Topics