ATLANTA (AP) – donald trump and 18 allies were indicted Monday in Georgia for plotting to reverse his 2020 election defeat in the state. Prosecutors resorted to a law usually associated with gangsters to frame the former president, lawyers and other top aides on a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy aimed at saving him from power.
The 97-page indictment details dozens of acts by Trump and his allies undo his defeat in the battleground stateThese include berating Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State to find enough votes to stay in power, harassing officials with false allegations of voter fraud, and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and to appoint a new list of electors favorable to Trump. A plan to tamper with voting machines in a Georgia county and steal data is also described.
“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 Trump administration Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who has been pushing ahead with efforts to make amends for his Georgia election defeat. Several other attorneys, including John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, who had come up with legally questionable ideas to falsify the findings, were also charged.
Willis said the accused had until noon on August 25 to surrender voluntarily. She also said she plans to request a hearing date within six months.
The document describes the former President of the United States, the former White House chief of staff, Trump’s attorneys and the former mayor of New York as members of a “criminal organization” who were part of a “corporation” that operated in Georgia and other countries States – Language conjuring up the operations of mafia bosses and gang leaders.
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 indicted him on a sweeping charge conspiracy to overthrow the electionThis underscores how, two and a half years later, after a protracted investigation in the wake of the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riot, prosecutors have now taken steps to hold Trump accountable for an attack on the very foundations of American democracy.
The extensive network of defendants in the Georgia case — 19 in all — 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, if Trump were elected president he would not have the option to seek a self-pardon or the outcome through the appointment of an attorney general to control, which could theoretically ensure abolition.
As indictments mount, Trump — the leading Republican presidential nominee in 2024 — often refers to his award the only past president to be prosecuted. He is campaigns and fundraising He explores these issues and portrays himself as a victim of Democratic prosecutors who are out to get him.
Republican allies once again quickly banded together in Trump’s defense. “Americans are seeing through this desperate deception,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy wrote on the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Charges against Trump include violations of the state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, as well as other offenses such as conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to make false statements.
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.”
It is also mentioned in the indictment now infamous December 18, 2020, session in the Oval Office, where Trump allies, including Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, proposed ordering the military to confiscate voting equipment and appointing a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of voter fraud in Georgia and other key states that Trump lost had to examine.
Prosecutors say the White House meeting, which Giuliani attended, was part of an attempt to influence “the outcome” of the election. Days later, prosecutors said, Meadows traveled to Cobb County and attempted to observe a signature match check being conducted, “although the trial was not open to the public.” Several state officials prevented the then chief of staff from entering the restricted area.