CNN: Defense Attorneys Will Have 'Field Day' With Fulton Grand Jury Forewoman's Interviews

February 22nd, 2023 11:34 AM

Poppy Harlow Don Lemon CNN This Morning 2-22-23In the movies, jurors can be heroic. But on television, they might seem ditzy and self-involved. CNN This Morning played excerpts from CNN's interview of Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of Fulton County DA Fani Willis's special grand jury that investigated efforts to overtun the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Her giddy affect seemed downright strange. And Paula Reid, chief CNN legal correspondent, calling the interview "very unusual," said:

"I would expect the defense attorneys would have a field day with an interview like this."

Reid's remarks are in line with comments made yesterday by Anderson Cooper and legal analyst Elie Honig. Cooper said he didn't understand why she gave the interview, and Honig said her comments were "a prosecutor's nightmare. Mark my words, Donald Trump’s team is going to make a motion if there’s an indictment to dismiss that indictment base on grand jury impropriety."

Imagine CNN having to ponder their own role in possibly ruining a Trump indictment.


There's not much biographical info on Kohrs available. This AP article describes her as "between jobs"—a euphemism for "unemployed." What appears to be her LinkedIn describes her as a "legal transcriptionist." The article also quotes her as saying that while "she tends to agree more with Democrats . . . she doesn't identify with any political party and prefers to listen to all opinions. If I chose a political party, it would be the not-crazy party." 

Sounds like a librul!

Note: Whereas it was twice suggested during the segment that Fani Willis has the authority to issue indictments based on the special grand jury's recommendations, that is not precisely true. Willis would have to empanel a regular grand jury, and ask them to issue indictments. The odds are very good that the grand jury would assent to her request, if you remember the old "grand juries would indict a ham sandwich" joke. But the decision, technically speaking, is not Willis's.

On CNN This Morning, CNN legal correspondent Paula Reid saying that the interview by Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of the Fulton County, Georgia special grand jury that heard testimony relating to possible crimes in connection with efforts to overtun the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, would be a "field day" for defense attorneys was sponsored in part by Dove.

Here's the transcript.

CNN This Morning
6:30 am ET

DON LEMON: We're now hearing about the person responsible for speaking on behalf of the Atlanta-based grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. 

The jury forewoman confirming that multiple incidents have been recommended. It's not a short list. The grand jury met for about seven months and heard testimony from 75 witnesses, including some of Trump's closest advisers. Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis is now reviewing the recommendations and weighing charging decisions.

Emily Kohrs says she wants to see some level of accountability. 

EMILY KOHRS: I will be sad if nothing happens. That's, that is about my only request there, for something to happen. I don't necessarily know what it is. I'm not the legal expert. I'm not the judge. I'm not the lawyers. But I, I will be frustrated if
nothing happens.

LEMON: So, CNN's Paula Reid joins me now from Washington. Paula, good morning. It's interesting that she is speaking out, kind of hedging. Well, I can say this but I can't say that. But I want to say something. What are you learning?

PAULA REID: Yeah, Don. This is very unusual. This media forewoman giving effectively a media tour this jury forewoman. And while she cannot disclose specifically what they recommended, she can reveal some details from inside the jury room, some color. And just trying to tease out exactly what she expects will happen. 

And of course, the biggest question she is getting is whether they recommended charging former President Trump. Let's take a listen to what she said.

KOHRS: We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump. And we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And I will say that when this list comes out, you wouldn't, there are no major plot twists waiting for you.

REID: Well, former President Trump has insisted that the district attorney here is conducting a, quote, witch hunt. But here, she insists that she believes the district attorney was proceeding in a nonpartisan way, and was really trying to be fair. But, look, I would expect the defense attorneys would have a field day with an interview like this.

LEMON: So, Paula, who else did the jury hear from and what did she say about them?

REID: Yeah, Don. It was interesting to hear her observations from inside the jury room. Because they heard from so many people that we're very familiar with, like Senator Lindsey Graham. I mean, he fought all the way to the Supreme Court to try to get out of testifying here. But she describes him as quote, being polite, and even joking with jurors. She described Rudy Giuliani as being funny, and thoughtful, when he's invoking privilege.

Now, she has every right to do this, to discuss these things. But it's unclear what impact this will have on the case. This grand jury could not indict. So this decision now is up the district attorney, Fani Willis. She says her decision whether to proceed is imminent.

LEMON: All right, thank you, Paula Reid; appreciate that. And so, we want to hear from her, it's frustrating. And she says it, but then kind of almost goes there.

POPPY HARLOW: I was really surprised to see this interview and her coming out. But Paula makes a good point, in Georgia grand juries can't indict. So they recommend, and now Fani Willis has a huge decision in front of her.

LEMON: And we'll be watching to see what happens.