Donald Trump indicted by Fulton County District Attorney for trying to sway 2020 Georgia election
Donald Trump is being indicted by the Fulton County District Attorney for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
Numerous charges have been brought against Trump and his associates, including forgery and extortion, as well as inducing a public official to violate his oath of office, among others. Prosecutors have indicted 18 other people, including Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.
Unlike the federal charges Trump is facing, the Fulton County case will proceed to state court. That means Trump would have less ability to intervene in the case if elected president next year and would not be able to pardon himself. Trump is essentially accused of leading an organized crime campaign in Georgia through his varied and concerted efforts to overturn his election loss there.
The indictment in the Georgia case
The Georgia state indictment states that “Trump and the other defendants refused to admit that Trump lost and knowingly and willfully participated in a conspiracy to illegally change the outcome of the election in Trump’s favor. This conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity.”
The group, according to the indictment, “constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities, including, but not limited to, false statements and writings, impersonating a public official, forgery, filing false documents, influencing witnesses, theft computer, computer hacking, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the government, acts involving theft and perjury.”
How is the Georgia case different from other criminal cases pending against Trump?
This is the second case involving accusations that Trump tried to overturn the election. It is the fourth time the former president has been charged with a crime this year.
Earlier in August, U.S. Attorney Jack Smith filed four federal charges against Trump for attempting to sway the election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to those charges and Smith has set a trial for Jan. 2. If Trump is elected president while the case is still pending, he will almost certainly fire Smith and clear him of the charges. He could also theoretically pardon himself if convicted. The Georgia case is different because Trump can’t intervene in it, even if he’s president, and he can’t issue a pardon.
In June, Smith accused Trump of illegally retaining national defense information under the Espionage Act and obstructing the administration’s effort to retrieve the documents. Trump has pleaded not guilty.
In March, Trump was indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in Manhattan. The charges relate to a $130,000 payment he made to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, with whom he allegedly had an extramarital affair. Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer at the time, paid the money to Daniels through a shell company, and Trump reimbursed him, recording it as a legal fee. Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, said this amounted to falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.
Why is he being tried in Fulton County?
Almost all of the key events connected to Trump’s attempt to overturn Georgia’s election results took place in Atlanta, the state capital, which is located in Fulton County.
Can Trump run for president?
Donald Trump can run because the US constitution does not bar anyone accused of a crime, or anyone convicted, from holding office.
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