Former President Donald Trump was indicted by Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis on Aug. 14. Trump was charged with attempting to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state of Georgia, according to CNN. Following the election, Willis set out on a two-year criminal investigation against Trump to see if he had tried to flip the results of the election to keep himself in office.
The charges against the former U.S. president include “False Statements and Solicitation of State Legislatures, high-ranking state officials, the creation and distribution of false electoral college documents, the harassment of election workers, the solicitation of Justice Department officials, the solicitation of then-Vice President Mike Pence, the unlawful breach of election equipment, and acts of obstruction,” the outlet reported.
Donald Trump and *18 others* have been criminally charged in Georgia:
Ray Smith III
Shawn Tresher Still
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 15, 2023
“Trump and the other Defendants (which includes Rudy Giuliani and others listed above) charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump,” the indictment states, according to the outlet. “That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the State of Georgia, and in other states.”
The indictment also included an additional 30 unindicted co-conspirators in addition to the charged defendants, CNN further reported. Prosecutors alleged that the enterprise “engaged in various related criminal activities including, but not limited to, false statements and writings, impersonating a public officer, forgery, filing false documents, influencing witnesses, computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the state, acts involving theft, and perjury.”
The indictment also reportedly states that all 19 defendants are facing racketeering charges.
An excerpt of the report of the grand jury’s findings showed that there was no sign of widespread voter fraud found in Georgia during the 2020 election. The report also revealed the jurors believed that at least one witness had committed perjury and advised the District Attorney to seek an indictment.
Ahead of the full report’s release, the grand jury’s foreperson Emily Kohrs gave a series of interviews, where she said that the grand jury was going to recommend at least a dozen indictments. She did not name Trump before the indictments were announced.
Months before the report was released, Willis had said that the decision was “imminent” to Judge Robert McBurney on Tuesday, January 24, per CNN. “We want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly, and we think for future defendants to be treated fairly it’s not appropriate at this time to have this report released,” she said. It was announced that parts of the report would be released later in the week on Monday, February 13.
After the D.A. announced that an indictment could be announced soon, Trump continued to spread lies about the 2020 election on his Truth Social platform. “My phone call to the Secretary of State of Georgia, and a second call which the Marxists, Communists, Racists, and RINOS don’t even want to talk about, were “PERFECT” calls. Many people, including lawyers for both sides, were knowingly on the line. I was protesting a RIGGED & STOLEN Election, which evidence proves it was. I won Georgia by a lot, but only needed a small number of votes from that total number,” he wrote.
The Georgia indictment is the third indictment to come for the former president. Trump was first indicted for falsifying business records in New York in March. He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. Trump was also federally indicted for mishandling classified documents in June. He also pleaded “not guilty” to those charges.
The indictment comes months after the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol made four criminal referrals for Trump to the Justice Department. After a months-long investigation and many bombshell public hearings, the bipartisan committee referred him for insurrection, conspiracy to make false statements, obstructing an official proceeding, and attempting to defraud the U.S., in December 2022. “We understand the gravity of each and every referral we are making today… just as we understand the magnitude of the crime against democracy we describe in our report,” Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin said, as the committee shared the referrals. Trump announced that he’d received a target letter from the Justice Department regarding Jan. 6 on his Truth Social platform on July 18.
The Georgia indictment and criminal referrals by the House Select Committee are far from the only legal troubles that Trump and his associates have faced recently. The Trump Organization and its former CFO Allen Weisselberg were found guilty of a tax fraud scheme. The company was ordered to pay $1.61 million, and Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in prison.
It’s unclear how the indictment will affect Trump’s 2024 run for president. He announced that he would run for the Oval Office once again during a November 2022 rally at his Mar-A-Lago residence. His most recent run will surely be very different from his campaigns in 2016 and 2020, with the new criminal referrals. Trump’s daughter and former advisor Ivanka Trump also said that she will not take part in her father’s campaign this time around. “I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” she said in an Instagram Story, after the announcement. “I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside of the political arena.”