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Georgia Grand Jury Indicts Trump in Election Probe

Written by on August 15, 2023

A grand jury in the U.S. state of Georgia has indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others in connection with efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The 13 charges unsealed against Trump late Monday include racketeering, violating his oath of office, conspiracies to commit forgery and file false documents, and other offenses.

The charge of ‘racketeering means that Georgia prosecutors must prove that the former president broke two or more of Georgia’s laws as part of a scheme to overturn the election results.

Among those charged along with Trump were former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told reporters that the defendants were part of a criminal enterprise in the county and elsewhere to “accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J. Trump to seize the presidential term of office” that began in January 2021.

The indictment details numerous allegations as part of that alleged effort, including making repeated claims of voter fraud to Georgia officials, attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to go against election results and appoint a slate of electoral college voters favorable to Trump, and stealing voting data.

“All elections in our nation are administered by the states, which are given the responsibility of ensuring a fair process and an accurate counting of the votes,” Willis said. “The states’ role in this process is essential to the functioning of our democracy.”

Willis said the timing of the trial in the case is up to the discretion of the assigned judge, but that her office would propose the trial take place in the next six months. She also said that while the grand jury issued arrest warrants for those charged, her office was allowing them to voluntarily surrender themselves by noon on Aug. 25.

The former president’s campaign did not wait for the charges to be unsealed before issuing a statement accusing Willis of being a “rabid partisan” and timing the investigation of Trump’s actions “to try and maximally interfere with the 2024 presidential race and damage the dominant Trump campaign.”

Willis told reporters her decisions are based on the facts and that the law is “completely non-partisan.”

“We look at the facts, we look at the law, and we bring charges,” Willis said.

Trump said on his Truth Social site Monday that he “did not tamper with the election,” and in a post early Tuesday he called Willis “out of control and very corrupt.”

“Why didn’t they Indict 2.5 years ago? Because they wanted to do it right in the middle of my political campaign,” Trump said. “Witch Hunt!”

The indictment follows a 2½-year investigation that stemmed broadly from Trump’s taped phone call in early 2021 to Georgia election officials soliciting them to “find” him 11,780 votes, one more than President Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the pivotal battleground state.

Georgia was one of several states where Trump narrowly lost and unsuccessfully sought to reverse the result, even as dozens of judges ruled against his election fraud claims.

To this day, he falsely contends that election irregularities cost him another term in the White House, while leading the contest among Republican voters for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination by a wide margin.

Trump has also been indicted in two federal cases and one in New York state.

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith accused Trump in a four-count indictment of scheming with six unnamed co-conspirators to illegally upend his national reelection loss.

Smith also accused Trump in Florida of illegally hoarding highly classified national security documents as he left the White House in early 2021.

A New York state prosecutor indicted Trump on charges of altering business records to hide a hush money payment to a porn film star ahead of his successful 2016 run for the presidency.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in all the cases.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters

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