ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump and 18 allies were indicted in Georgia Monday, accused of plotting to illegally reverse his 2020 election defeat in the state. It is the fourth criminal case against the former president and the second this month in which he is accused of attempting to rig voting results.
The indictment details dozens of actions taken by Trump and his allies to reverse his defeat in the embattled state, including berating Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State to find enough votes to keep him in power, harassing officials with false allegations of voter fraud and an attempt to persuade Georgia’s lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and appoint a new list of Electoral College voters pro-Trump.
“Trump and the other defendants charged in this indictment refused to accept that Trump lost and knowingly and willfully engaged in a conspiracy to unlawfully alter the outcome of the election in Trump’s favour,” the statement said Monday night indictment issued by the Fulton County Office of District Attorney Fani Willis.
Other defendants included former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and a Justice Department official in the Trump administration, Jeffrey Clark, who had spearheaded efforts to redeem his Georgia election defeat.
The indictment presents a remarkable spate of criminal cases — four in five months, each in a different city — that would be disheartening to anyone, let alone a defendant who is also running for president.
It comes just two weeks after the Justice Department’s special counsel charged him with a grand conspiracy to overthrow the election. This underscores how prosecutors have acted against him, now two and a half years after the indictment, following a protracted investigation in the wake of the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riots. Six months later, he took steps to hold Trump accountable for an attack on the very foundations of American democracy.
Although the indictment focuses on Trump’s efforts to undermine election results in just one state, the vast network of defendants differs from the more focused case of special counsel Jack Smith, who so far has only named Trump as a defendant. The Georgia case is also notable in that, unlike the two federal lawsuits he faces, Trump would not have the option to pardon himself if elected president.
As indictments mount, Trump — the leading Republican presidential nominee in 2024 — often cites his distinction as the only past president to have faced criminal charges. He campaigns and raises funds around these issues and portrays himself as a victim of Democratic prosecutors who are out to get him.
The indictment alleges that Trump made false testimony and writings about a series of claims he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other state election officials on Jan. 2, 2021, including that up to 300,000 Ballots “mysteriously fell into the electoral rolls.” More than 4,500 people voted in the 2020 election who were not on the registration lists, and Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County poll worker, is said to be a “professional voter fraudster.”
Associated Press writers Jeffrey Martin and Brynn Anderson in Atlanta; Jill Colvin and Michael R. Sisak in New York, Russ Bynum in Savannah, Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston, and Farnoush Amiri in Washington contributed to this report.
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