In a nearly 100-page indictment former President Donald Trump along with18 of his closest allies were indicted in Georgia over their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state of Georgia. The Georgia Fulton County District Attorney’s office charge Trump using a statute known as the state’s “Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” (RICO) used to prosecute organize crime and organize crime bosses and mobsters. The indictment accuses Trump, his aides and lawyers of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power.
The indictment details dozens of acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat. Ther efforts include:
- Pressuring Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to find enough votes for him to win the battleground state.
- Harassing an election worker who faced false claims of fraud and who later received death threats.
- Attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and set aside the election results..
- Appoint a new slate of electoral college electors who would vote for Trump setting aside the electors who had been legitimately elected.
One particularly brazen episode outlined in the indictment alleges a plot involving one of Trumps lawyers seeking access to voting machines in a rural Georgia county and steal data from a voting machine company.
The indictment outlines 161 acts by Trump and his associates that have already been reported upon and that have received widespread attention. The Jan. 2, 2021 phone call made by Trump to urged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to overturn his election loss stands out as the most damning. The Fulton County District Attorney said the call violated a Georgia law against soliciting a public official to violate their oath of office.
The sprawling indictment charges Trump with making false statements and writings for a series of claims he made to Raffensperger and other state election officials. Those false statement and claims included that up to 300,000 ballots “were dropped mysteriously into the rolls” in the 2020 election, that more than 4,500 people voted who weren’t on registration lists and that a Fulton County election worker, Ruby Freeman, was a “professional vote scammer.”
Former New York City Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is charged with making false statements for allegedly lying to lawmakers by claiming that more than 96,000 mail-in ballots were counted in Georgia despite there being no record of them having been returned to a county elections office, and that a voting machine in Michigan wrongly recorded 6,000 votes for Biden that were actually cast for Trump. Giuliani was never able to produce a scintilla of evidence to support the false claims.
Also charged are individuals who are alleged to helped Trump and his allies in Georgia to influence and intimidate election workers. One man, Stephen Cliffgard Lee, was charged by prosecutors for allegedly traveling to Ruby Freeman’s home “with intent to influence her testimony” before congress. Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss testified to Congress last year about how Trump and his allies latched onto surveillance footage from November 2020 to accuse both women of committing voter fraud, allegations that were quickly debunked, yet spread widely across conservative media. Both women, who are Black, faced death threats for several months after the election.
The indictment charges several co-defendants of tampering with voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia, and stealing data belonging to Dominion Voting Systems, a producer of tabulation machines that has long been the focus of conspiracy theories. According to evidence made public by the congressional committee investigating the January 6 riot, Trump allies targeted Coffee County in search of evidence to back their theories of widespread voter fraud, allegedly copying data and software.
Others charged include White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump administration Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who advanced the then-president’s efforts to undo his election loss in Georgia. Meadows is charged with repeated contact with Georgia officials. Other lawyers who supported legally dubious ideas aimed at overturning the results, including John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, were also charged. It was Eastman who wrote the legal theory that Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to reject the selectorial college vote.
A link to read the entire Georgia indictment is here:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY FANI WILLIS
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose office brought the case had this to say in a late night press conference:
“The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the defendants would be permitted to voluntarily surrender by noon August 25. She also said she plans to seek a trial date within six months and that she intends to try all the defendants collectively.
THE 19 INDICTED DEFENDANTS
Including Donald Trump, the 19 individuals that have been indicted are:
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff
Rudy Giuliani, Trump lawyer
Sidney Powell, Trump election lawyer
Jenna Ellis, Trump campaign lawyer
Mike Roman, Trump campaign official
Jeffrey Clark,Top Justice Department official
Ray Smith, Trump campaign attorney
John Eastman, Trump election lawyer
OTHER TRUMP ALLIES
Kenneth Chesebro, Pro-Trump lawyer
Trevian Kutti, Publicist
Harrison Floyd, Leader of Black Voices for Trump
Robert Cheeley, Pro-Trump lawyer
Stephen Lee, Pastor tied to election worker intimidation
David Shafer, Georgia GOP chair
Cathy Latham, Fake elector tied to Coffee County breach
Shawn Still, Fake GOP elector
ALLEGED VOTING SYSTEM BREACHERS
Scott Hall, Tied to Coffee County breach
Misty Hampton, Coffee County elections supervisor
FOUR PENDING CASES
As it stands, Trump had now been indicted 4 times that contain a total of 91 felony counts. Trump has been charged in the State of New York with falsifying business records and now in Georgia with both being election-related cases. Trump also faces a separate federal indictment accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Maralogo home in Florida.
It was on August 2 that Trump was indicted on felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the run-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol, with the US Justice Department seeking to hold him accountable for his efforts to block the peaceful transfer of presidential power and threaten American democracy.
Links to quoted news sources are here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
One of the biggest arguments that have been made by MAGA Republicans is that Trump has done nothing wrong, that he did not have the necessary intent believing he won the election and that he was following the advice of his attorneys. Well, at least 7 of the indicted in the Georgia case are those very attorneys that gave Trump the legal advice he used to violate the law.
What is truly disgusting is the extent the Republican Party and its leadership continue to support Trump and go to his defense refusing to accept he is a danger to our national security and to our democracy. Based on all the polls, Trump is the clear front runner and will be the Republican nominee. His opponents flail around unable to break the strangle hold over the Republican Party which has essentially become his cult.
It is more likely than not that more than a few of the 19 who have been indicted in Georgia will want to plead guilty to the charges and turn state evidence to testify against Trump in exchange for a suspended jail sentence. That testimony will likely include admissions that Trump knew he lost Georgia.
The sooner Trump is tried, convicted and sentence to jail for the crimes he has committed, the better. It will show that no one is above the law and Trump will finally be brought to the justice he so richly deserves. The beaty of the Georgia indictment is that if Trump is convicted and then elected, he cannot pardon himself or any of his co conspirators on the charges.
The 4 pending indictments can be called Making America Great Again one indictment and conviction at a time.