A Georgia grand jury on Monday indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 allies with 41 counts related to the alleged attempt to overthrow the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, including racketeering.
The grand jury charged all 19 co-defendants with one count of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. (RICO) Act.
“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, whose office brought the case, said at a news conference late Friday night, the Associated Press reported.
A conviction in the RICO Act carries with it a mandatory five-year sentence, which may be served in prison, on probation, or a combination of the two, at the judge’s discretion.
The defendants have been ordered to appear in court by August 25, and Willis said, adding that she will request to go to trial within six months.
23sc188947 Criminal Indictment by kc wildmoon on Scribd
The charges came after a two year investigation by a special grand jury, which had no power to bring charges, and then the final grand jury that voted Monday on the charges. Included in the detailed listing are Trump’s “perfect” phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, in which he asked the official to “find” the votes to make him Georgia’s winner, the harassment of two election workers Trump’s allies falsely accused of tampering with the vote, and actually tampering with voting machines in Coffee County to steal election data.
In addition to Trump, the indictment charges Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Ray Smith, Robert Cheeley, and Kenneth Chesebro, former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, Trump campaign official Mike Roman, Georgia GOP chairman David Schaefer, fake elector Shawn Still, Stephen Lee and Trevian Kutti, two men tied to intimidation of Georgia election officials, Black Voices for Trump leader Harrison Floyd, and fake elector Cathy Latham, Scott Hall and Coffee County elections supervisor Misty Hampton, all three linked with a breach of voting machines in Coffee County.
Powell was linked with the Coffee County incident, and Lee, a Georgia pastor, allegedly went to the home of Fulton County election official Ruby Freeman “with intent to influence her testimony.”
As he has each time he’s been indicted, investigated, or accused of wrongdoing, Trump immediately went on his “Truth Social” media account to call the indictment a “Witch Hunt … by an out of control and very corrupt District Attorney,” who he previously falsely accused of having an affair with a defendant, as CNN reported. Republican Party leaders, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, quickly rallied to echo his words. McCarthy called the indictment a “desperate sham.”
Speaking to Fox News, Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the indictments “disgraceful” and said he was “p******” about it, while South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said that voters should decide Trump’s fate, not prosecutors, judges, and juries. And the House Judiciary Committee, led by Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, sent out a Tweet that said, “Frivolous. Pathetic. Sad.” Jordan also posted on his own account that the ex-president “did nothing wrong!”
Republicans consistently accuse the Biden administration of “weaponizing” the Department of Justice while simultaneously pledging to investigate their enemies when and if they return to power. Additionally, Trump spent much of his 2016 campaign for president promising to “lock up” his Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Giuliani did not respond directly to the charges but said the indictments were an “affront to American democracy” and “just the next chapter in a book of lies,” despite previously admitted to some of the allegations, the AP said.
Trump has now been indicted four times, twice in federal court, once in New York state court, and once in Georgia. He remains the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
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[Featured image: Trump on the phone with VP Mike Pence on January 6, 2021/House Select Committee via AP]