Donald Trump publicly insisted on Monday that a key witness in Georgia’s grand jury probe shouldn’t testify this week as ordered—a brazen ask that one legal expert described as “witness tampering in real time.”
Georgia’s former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, was the witness at the center of the early morning tirade from Trump, who has been raging for weeks as the Fulton County grand jury seemingly inches closer to filing criminal charges against him over alleged efforts to meddle in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
While singling Duncan out on Monday, Trump misspelled his first name.
“I am reading reports that failed former Lt. Governor of Georgia, Jeff Duncan, will be testifying before the Fulton County Grand Jury,” Trump posted to Truth Social. “He shouldn’t.”
Scores of legal experts were shocked by the brazen post.
“This morning’s first attempt at witness intimidation,” attorney George Conway, a frequent Trump critic whose ex-wife Kellyanne worked in the Trump administration, posted to Twitter.
Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade posted a similar sentiment, writing that Trump’s morning rant was “witness tampering in real time.”
Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, similarly called the post “blatantly unlawful stuff” that could warrant a charge of influencing witnesses.
“This is exceptionally bad even for Donald Trump,” he said.
Duncan confirmed on Saturday that the grand jury had requested he testify on Tuesday. “I look forward to answering their questions around the 2020 election. Republicans should never let honesty be mistaken for weakness,” he wrote on Twitter, the platform recently rebranded as X.
Trump, however, called Duncan a “nasty disaster” on Monday, accusing him of refusing to order a special session to investigate baseless claims that there was widespread voter fraud in Fulton County in 2020.
“He refused having a Special Session to find out what went on, became very unpopular with Republicans (I refused to endorse him!), and fought the TRUTH all the way,” Trump fumed.
Duncan, who is now a contributor for CNN, did not acknowledge Trump’s attack on Monday or respond to a request for comment sent by The Daily Beast.
Just prior to calling Duncan out by name, Trump spent Monday morning ranting in all-caps about his latest legal woes—insisting he’s being framed to cover up an illegitimate election, despite having no evidence to support that.
“I understand through illegal leaks to the fake news media that phoney (sic) Fani Willis, the D.A. of Fulton County, Georgia, wants desperately to indict me on the ridiculous grounds of tampering with the 2020 presidential election,” Trump wrote. “No, I didn’t tamper with the election! Those who rigged & stole the election were the ones doing the tampering, & they are the slime that should be prosecuted.”
Trump has repeatedly launched nasty online attacks on Willis, who is Black, baselessly suggesting that she’s “racist” and had an “affair” with a “gang member.”
D.C. lawyer Bradley P. Moss described Trump’s rambling post about Duncan as “taunting,” adding that he’s “just begging for trouble from whatever judge gets assigned that case if, as expected, Willis indicts him tomorrow.”