114 episodes

True crime investigations from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Veteran legal affairs journalist Bill Rankin takes you inside the courtroom to break down the story and the criminal justice system. This award-winning series investigates Georgia’s most important cases with fact-based reporting. Season 9 focuses on the historic special grand jury investigation of former President Donald Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, led by District Attorney Fani Willis. Learn more about our reporting at ajc.com/breakdown. 

Breakdown AJC Podcasts

    • News
    • 4.3 • 182 Ratings

True crime investigations from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Veteran legal affairs journalist Bill Rankin takes you inside the courtroom to break down the story and the criminal justice system. This award-winning series investigates Georgia’s most important cases with fact-based reporting. Season 9 focuses on the historic special grand jury investigation of former President Donald Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, led by District Attorney Fani Willis. Learn more about our reporting at ajc.com/breakdown. 

    The Referee

    The Referee

    Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney says his oversight of the special purpose grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump and his allies has been "quite a ride."
    Episode 19 of the ninth season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Breakdown podcast includes an interview with McBurney, who has now been a judge for 10 years.
    The AJC's metro columnist, Bill Torpy, interviewed McBurney because it has seemed the judge is the busiest member of Georgia's judiciary. McBurney ruled on the challenge to Georgia's abortion law; he presides over a state judicial watchdog panel; he oversees a drug court program; and he is the trial judge in the murder case against Tex McIver, the former Atlanta lawyer charged with killing his wife, Diane.
    The latest episode of "The Trump Grand Jury" also includes interviews with two authors of a Brookings Institute report on the Trump investigation. And it covers a hearing for Trump's former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who has been summoned to testify here in Atlanta.
    You can download the Breakdown podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform.
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    • 48 min
    Eastman's prophecy

    Eastman's prophecy

    In an email sent Dec. 31, 2020, attorney John Eastman shared a thought with fellow members of then-President Donald Trump’s legal team.
    “I have no doubt that an aggressive DA or U.S. Attorney some place will go after both the president and his lawyers once the dust settles on this,” Eastman wrote.
    Eastman, a former law school dean, was one of the architects behind the fake elector scheme and he authored legal memos detailing a plan in which Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to count some of President Joe Biden’s votes.
    As for his email, Eastman turned out to be right. He, the former president and other members of the legal team now find themselves under investigation by a Fulton County special purpose grand jury.
    Episode 18 of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast explores the possible ramifications of emails exchanged between Eastman and other Trump lawyers. The emails were turned over to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and obtained by the news organization Politico.
    The ninth season of Breakdown – “The Trump Grand Jury” – is closely following the special purpose grand jury probe of possible interference in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
    Episode 18 also covers the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision involving South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s attempt to avoid testifying before the special grand jury. And it explains what happened in a Virginia courtroom where former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also sought to avoid traveling to Atlanta to testify.
    You can download the Breakdown podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform. You can also stream it above.
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    • 35 min
    What Trump knew

    What Trump knew

    Could testimony from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack help Fulton prosecutors prove criminal intent?

    The 17th episode of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's podcast "Breakdown — The Trump Grand Jury" looks at the testimony from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. Could any of the revelations help Fulton County prosecutors prove criminal intent in regards to former Donald Trump's interference with the 2020 elections in Georgia?

    The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol produced hours of spellbinding television and its share of shocking revelations.

    Legal experts say it has also presented testimony that could help Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, should she decide to press charges against former President Donald Trump and his allies for interfering with the 2020 elections.


    Episode 17 - "What Trump Knew", Breakdown explores some of the testimony from the Select Committee hearings and explains why it could help prosecutors prove criminal intent.

    Key witnesses have been former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr; former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson; former acting U.S. deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue; Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Alyssa Fara, former White House director of strategic communications.

    This season, "The Trump Grand Jury," is closely following the special purpose grand jury in Fulton County that is investigating what happened in Georgia in the weeks following the 2020 presidential election.
    Breakdown's latest episode also takes listeners into a South Carolina courtroom where Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, tried to ward off an out-of-state material witness subpoena seeking his testimony before the special grand jury in Atlanta.

    You can download the Breakdown podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform.
     
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    • 37 min
    The Phony Slate

    The Phony Slate

    When 16 Georgia Republicans met at the state Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, they cast Electoral College votes for Donald Trump, who had not won the state’s presidential election.
    The 16th episode of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast – “The Trump Grand Jury” — revisits what happened that day and the consequences going forward. The false electors cast their votes the same day 16 Democrats, the official Electoral College electors, publicly cast votes for the man who’d been certified as the victor: President Joe Biden.
    Fulton County prosecutors heading the special purpose grand jury investigation of former president Trump and his allies have notified the 16 fake electors that they are targets of the probe. This means they could be criminally charged for what they did.
    In the episode “The Fake Electors,” Breakdown hears from three reporters — the AJC’s Greg Bluestein, Channel 2 Action News’ Richard Elliot and independent journalist George Chidi — who stumbled across the GOP meeting where the GOP “electors” cast votes that were later sent to Congress and the National Archives. The podcast also interviews legal experts who are closely following the case and who give their takes on what occurred.
    Among those members of the phony slate of Republican electors trying to overturn Biden’s victory was state Sen. Burt Jones, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor.
    This summer, Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney handed Jones a victory by disqualifying the Fulton DA’s office from further investigating him because District Attorney Fani Willis hosted a fundraiser for Jones’ opponent, Democrat Charlie Bailey.
    But Jones is not in the clear yet. The Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia now has jurisdiction and could appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Jones. This means Jones, who is leading in the polls in the race for lieutenant governor, could face a possible indictment.
    You can download the Breakdown podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform. You can also stream it above.
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    • 49 min
    It's Newt's turn

    It's Newt's turn

    The latest episode of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast focuses on new out-of-state material witness subpoenas issued by the Fulton County special purpose grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump and his allies.
    The most notable to receive them are former national security advisor Michael Flynn and former Georgia congressman and House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Also on the list are one of Trump’s former senior advisors, a cyber investigations consultant and a police chaplain from Illinois.
    The special purpose grand jury, which convened in May, is investigating alleged interference with the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
    Gingrich has been an election denier since shortly after the 2020 election as evidenced by an interview he gave to Fox News.
    Democrats stole “five or six states,” Gingrich said. “In Fulton County, Georgia, we believe these people are thieves. We believe the machines are corrupt.”
    Gingrich’s subpoena says he was involved with the Trump campaign in a plan to air TV ads that “repeated and relied upon false claims about fraud in the 2020 election” and which encouraged viewers “to contact their state officials and pressure them to challenge and overturn the results of the election.”
    In November 2020, Trump pardoned Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to giving false statements to the FBI during an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    Just weeks later, Flynn appeared on Newsmax and said Trump won the 2020 election. Flynn also said Trump “could take military capabilities and he could place them in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states.”
    You can download the Breakdown podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform. You can also stream it on your computer above.
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    • 38 min
    Breakdown Bonus with the AJC's Bill Torpy and Patricia Murphy

    Breakdown Bonus with the AJC's Bill Torpy and Patricia Murphy

    The latest episode of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast explores court filings that suggest a criminal investigation of former President Donald Trump and his allies has reached a new, more sensitive stage.
    The bonus episode also includes podcast hosts Bill Rankin and Tamar Hallerman interviewing the AJC’s metro columnist, Bill Torpy, and the newspaper’s political columnist, Patricia Murphy. They both have been keeping up with the special purpose grand jury investigation and give some interesting observations on what has happened so far and what may happen in the coming months.
    You can download the Breakdown podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform. You can also stream it on your computer above.
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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
182 Ratings

182 Ratings

Ghostly Falcon ,

Our absolute favourite

My girlfriend and I are from Toronto and love listening to this podcast on long drives with hot drinks in hand. We’re always hooked on absolutely everything that happens, and it’s sparked some incredible conversations and debates between us. I would pay subscription fees for this without hesitation. The trailer for this coming fall’s season had us drooling. PLEASE keep it coming, this is the best podcast out there today.

Jenkinsdraws ,

Inconsistent sound levels ruining an otherwise excellent podcast

I wrote an exemplary review, a sincere one, for the Tex Avery case podcast that seemed to be used for hits site or publicizing AJC’s work. Fair enough. I’m afraid I can’t do so for the A. Avery one. The writing and delivery is superb as always, but its effect is totally derailed by the atrocious sound quality and levels. Sometime I am straining to hear what is being said in an audio clip, sometime it is far too loud. Recommend this problem be fixed as I’m considering stopping listening half way through what could be an excellent podcast

Canadian Comms ,

Ok, but repetitive

I’m a huge fan of true crime podcasts. I started listening to Season two. It got increasingly repetitive and I stopped listening around episode ten. Instead, I Googled to find out what happened.

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