Georgia v. Trump

A Fulton County grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others in a case related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Georgia’s RICO law is the foundation of the 41-count indictment, in which D.A. Fani Willis alleges the defendants conspired to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump. 

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Fulton grand jury indicts Trump over 2020 election interference in Georgia

Since his loss in the 2020 presidential election, Trump and his allies have spread disinformation about election fraud taking place. Across the country, no voter fraud was found sufficient to affect the election outcome. 

In January 2021, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find 11,780 votes” — enough for him to win the election in Georgia. This prompted the beginning of Willis’ two-and-a-half year-long investigation, which included witness testimonies before a special purpose grand jury. 

Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO law, is generally used to prosecute a group of people that acted in concert to commit or conspired to commit a string of crimes. In this case, Willis accused Trump and the co-defendants of acting as a criminal enterprise to overturn the 2020 election results. The underlying crimes include forgery, false statements and writings, and violation of oath by a public officer.

Georgia’s RICO statute carries a minimum sentence of five years, or a fine, or both. It has a statute of limitations of five years (as opposed to two).

Breakdown of Trump’s felony RICO charges, accusations of criminal enterprise as Fulton grand jury wraps up

A look at the 19 people charged in Georgia indictment connected to Trump election scheme

Trump’s co-defendants include lawyers, campaign allies and “alternate” electors. Among them are former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Also facing charges is conservative law professor John Eastman. He argued that within the electoral college system, there was a way for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election. This plan required a slate of alternate electors in seven states to falsely certify that Trump won in their states.

Willis said arrest warrants have been issued and defendants have until Aug. 25 at noon to surrender. They will be booked at Fulton County jail. Willis is asking for a trial date of March 4.

Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAffee will need to schedule around multiple defendants and proceedings in the three other criminal cases Trump is facing.

What’s next in the Georgia election criminal case?