Former President Donald Trump was indicted Monday along with 18 alleged co-conspirators in his efforts to overturn the 2020 Georgia election, raising the possibility that some of the defendants could be colluding with prosecutors.
A Fulton County grand jury returned a verdict late Monday night Charge with 41 counts, including 13 charges against Trump. Although various alleged co-conspirators have been charged with different crimes, all 19 face charges under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute.
The indictment said Trump and the other defendants “conspired and attempted to operate and engage in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia and elsewhere,” and at one point described it as a “criminal organization.”
Willis said in one Late evening press conference that she plans to try it with Trump and the 18 others. She gave them until noon on August 25 to surrender or face arrest.
The accused include former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. It also includes attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Ray Smith and Robert Cheeley.
National Security Attorney Mark Zaid called it a “true #MAGA moment – make lawyers lawyers.”
Unlike other cases, there is no chance of a federal pardon as this is a state case. The RICO statute provides for a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment and convicts cannot be pardoned by the governor.
“Given RICO’s five-year lifespan, there’s a lot of opportunity for people to turn around and collaborate.” wrote NYU law professor Melissa Murray.
“Unlike Trump, the other defendants are not wealthy. They don’t collect money from donors to pay their legal bills.” added former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “Most people’s lives are turned upside down by an indictment and they plead guilty to avoid ruin.”
Some TrumpWorld allies already appear to be cooperating. The indictment names 30 uncharged co-conspirators involved in the plot.
The phrase “uncharged co-conspirator” appears at least 89 times in the indictment against Trump and others in Fulton County. Fani Willis may have some important witnesses involved.” tweeted former US Attorney Joyce Vance.
Trump was also indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith in connection with the election plan and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. However, some of Trump’s alleged co-conspirators in the case are already beginning to clash, sources say Rolling Stone.
Some of Trump’s alleged, unindicted conspirators in the case “attempted to distance themselves from the efforts of others by implicitly shifting blame for possible criminal conduct onto other participants in Trump’s attempted coup,” the report said.
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“It’s the ‘please don’t put me in jail, put that other guy in jail’ strategy that’s definitely going to come up at some point,” an attorney working in Trump’s circle told the outlet.
Lawyers for Giuliani and Chesebro have tried to pin the blame on others in the campaign’s legal team or those close to Trump. And Trump’s own attorneys have signaled they want to argue that Trump relied heavily on “his attorney’s advice.”
“The possibility that one of Trump’s former aides could act as a state witness and testify either against him or his associates or close associates is already apparent to the twice-indicted former president,” Rolling Stone reported. “This summer, Trump asked some of his political and legal advisers to identify who they believe — particularly among those the Office of the Special Counsel is investigating or questioning — are most ‘vulnerable’ and most likely to collapse under pressure from prosecutors becomes.”
on the Fulton County case