That’s when Emily Kohrs knew.
When she and a couple dozen others were taken to an underground garage where armed officers put them in waiting vans with darkened windows and drove them to an external parking lot — that’s when she knew that sitting on the special grand jury was a “big freaking deal.”
She told The New York Times that when she got home her mother asked, “Is it the Trump thing?”
Yeah, Mom, it’s the Trump thing.
Emily Kohrs was a member of the special grand jury that was impaneled to investigate potential criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 election, and, if warranted, to make recommendations to the attorney general regarding possible indictments.
When Kohrs received a summons to serve on the special grand jury, she was “between jobs;” individuals who are less inclined to euphemisms might call that being “out of work.” During the pandemic, she supported herself by making masks.
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While other jurors were less than enthusiastic about serving an eight-month term on the special grand jury, Kohrs was excited. Her exact words to an Associated Press reporter were “insanely excited.”
It is hard to imagine a less likely person to serve as the foreperson of a special grand jury that had the authority to recommend to the Georgia attorney general, if it chose to do so, that a former president of the United States should be criminally indicted.
Kohrs, who did not vote in the 2020 election, said that she is neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but if she joined a political party, she said it would be the “not crazy” one.
But when the other jurors passed on serving as foreperson, Kohrs, who claims a longtime interest in politics and who considers herself “a geek about the justice system,” jumped at the opportunity. She later said that it was “the coolest thing that ever happened to me.”
It was clearly a heady experience for Ms. Kohrs. She swore in each of the 75 witnesses, including Rudy Guiliani. He is “almost like a myth figure in my head,” she said in an interview. “So, I’m already intimidated.” She made sure she shook his hand when he finished his testimony.
Khors told her boyfriend, “Do you know that I was in the room with Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and they knew who I was, (and) they both wanted to talk to me.”
Emily Kohrs has been criticized for speaking freely about her experience as grand jury foreperson. I find her openness refreshing.
She said that when she swore in former Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston as a witness, she was holding in one hand a Ninja Turtle popsicle that she got at a party in the District Attorney’s office.
When she asked Ralston if he swore to keep the oath he was about to take, he said, “This is the first time in 60 years I have said, ‘I do,’ to a woman.”
A New York Times reporter asked Kohrs what surprised her most about her experience on the grand jury. She said she was most surprised at “how much people curse in the White House.”
I love that.
I’m not surprised at how much people curse in the White House, but I like that she was.
In our legal system, justice is ultimately in the hands of regular folks. Folks like Emily Kohrs.
Ordinary citizens compose juries that routinely challenge prosecutors: “In the eyes of the law the accused is innocent until you convince us otherwise. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
The final report of the special grand jury reflects their unanimous belief that there was not voter fraud sufficient to alter the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia in 2020 and that one or more witnesses lied to them, and that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should look into that.
The report also contains recommendations that multiple persons be indicted. Without naming names, Khors says, “It’s not a short list.”
She says she stands by the special grand jury’s recommendations.
If Fani Willis wishes to proceed further, ordinary citizens will be summoned to form another grand jury. If indictments are handed down, other juries will be impaneled — juries made up of school teachers, automobile mechanics, IT specialists and some people who have time on their hands because they, like Emily Kohrs, are “between jobs.”
Never has it seemed so clear that the fate of the country rests squarely on the shoulders of ordinary citizens.