Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis , surrounded by staff, speaks during a news conference on August 14, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By; Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
A grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others on Monday for taking part in a sprawling “criminal enterprise” aimed at overturning the 2020 presidential election results in the state.
The 98-page indictment, which includes a total of 41 counts, marks the fourth time Trump has been charged in a criminal investigation since April.
The indictment states that Trump and the other defendants—including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani—”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.”
Trump, Giuliani, Meadows, and more than a dozen others “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 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 former president faces 13 charges under the Georgia indictment, including soliciting a public officer to violate their oath and breaching the state’s Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Georgia’s RICO law carries up to 20 years in prison for those convicted.
The indictment—the product of a sweeping investigation led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis—cites Trump’s early December phone call to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, during which the former president “solicited, requested, and importuned Kemp to call a special session of the Georgia General Assembly.”
“This was an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy,” the indictment reads.
Willis launched the election interference investigation after an audio recording obtained by The Washington Post revealed that Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and said he wants “to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.”
During a press conference, Willis said arrest warrants have been issued for those charged in the indictment, including Trump, who is running for president again in 2024.
“I am giving the defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday, the 25th day of August 2023,” said Willis.
Christina Harvey, executive director of the advocacy group Stand Up America, said in a statement that “the evidence of Trump’s criminal conduct is overwhelming” and “holding the former president and his co-conspirators accountable is vital to protect our democracy and freedom to vote in future elections.”
“At the heart of this indictment are Trump’s concerted efforts to overturn the will of Georgia voters, Trump’s attempts to deliberately spread disinformation, pressure Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office, and unlawfully change the outcome of the election in his favor demonstrate his deep-seated contempt for the law, the American people, and our democracy,” said Harvey.