Georgia grand jury indicts former US President Donald Trump in presidential election interference case News
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Georgia grand jury indicts former US President Donald Trump in presidential election interference case

A Georgia grand jury indicted former US President Donald Trump on 13 criminal charges late Monday night. The 41-count indictment alleges that Trump, along with 18 other individuals who were also charged, conspired to interfere in Georgia’s election process during the 2020 US presidential election. This is now the fourth criminal indictment Trump faces as he continues to campaign for the 2024 presidential election.

In total, Trump faces 13 criminal charges from the Fulton County, Georgia grand jury. Included in those charges is one violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, three counts of solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, one count of conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit and another two counts of actually committing false statements and writings, one count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents, and one count of filing false documents.

The 98-page indictment lays out a detailed narrative describing how Trump and his co-defendants “engaged in various related criminal activities” to “unlawfully change the outcome of the [November 3, 2020] election in favor of Trump.” While the Georgia presidential election was a close race, a majority of voters within the state did ultimately cast their ballot for current President Joe Biden.

The indictment alleges that the defendants’ criminal conduct persisted up through September 15, 2022—nearly two years after Georgia electors cast their votes in the 2020 presidential election. The grand jury also appeared to hear evidence of election interference efforts beyond the state of Georgia, as there are references to similar efforts in states such as Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The indictment describes 161 allegedly criminal acts to support the first count—the RICO act violation—alone. According to the indictment, in an effort to keep election officials from certifying the 2020 presidential election results in favor of Biden, Trump and his co-defendants attempted to exert influence over Georgia legislators, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—who was on the receiving end of an infamous phone call in which Trump requested state election officials find him enough votes to overcome Biden’s electoral lead in the state.

The indictment also alleges that the defendants harassed Georgia election workers, created and disseminated a false slate of electors, stole election data from the state, and obstructed the very investigation that led to the indictment.

Following the indictment’s release, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis spoke briefly to reporters at a press conference. There, she said:

I remind everyone here that an indictment is only a series of allegations based on a grand jury’s determination of probable cause to support the charges. It is now the duty of my office to prove these charges in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

In response to the indictment, Trump’s presidential campaign released a statement. In it, they claimed that Willis’ investigation was partisan, implying it may interfere with Trump’s election bid in the 2024 presidential race. The statement reads:

The legal double-standard set against President Trump must end. … These activities … constitute a grave threat to American democracy and are direct attempts to deprive the American people of their rightful choice to cast their vote for President. Call it election interference or election manipulation—it is a dangerous effort by the ruling class to suppress the choice of the people. It is un-American and wrong.

The grand jury also found enough evidence to support the indictment of Trump’s 18 co-defendants. Some of the individuals, such as former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, are names that have frequently arisen in other pending litigation and surrounding fallout from the 2020 presidential election. Others are specific to these claims of Georgia election interference. Furthermore, within the indictment, there are references to an additional cache of 30 unindicted co-conspirators and other individuals who remain unknown to the grand jury responsible for issuing the indictment.

All 19 individuals charged in Monday’s indictment have until Friday at 12:00 PM EST to voluntarily turn themselves in to Fulton County officials in compliance with the warrants out for their arrest.