• Tue. May 28th, 2024

The latest news on Trump and the Fulton County, Georgia, election case

The latest news on Trump and the Fulton County, Georgia, election case

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and former President Donald Trump.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and former President Donald Trump. Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump is facing a potential fourth indictment, this time in Georgia, where state prosecutors may soon bring charges over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results there.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, launched the probe in early 2021 and has investigated Trump’s attempts to pressure Georgia officials into interfering with the vote tally, the “fake electors” scheme to subvert the Electoral College and other efforts to undo the will of the voters.

The grand jury in the case has been hearing testimony Monday as part of the prosecution’s presentation of evidence. The timing of any potential indictment is unclear. Willis, who is leading the probe, planned for her presentation to the grand jury to last one or two days.

What is being investigated: Then-candidate Joe Biden’s razor-thin victory in Georgia was confirmed by two recounts and certified by Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans.

Instead of conceding, Trump launched a multi-pronged effort to overturn the results, including a pressure campaign targeting key state officials. Trump wanted them to abuse their powers to “find” enough votes to flip the results, or to block Biden’s victory from being certified. They refused.

When these efforts failed, Trump urged Georgia lawmakers to convene a special session of the GOP-run legislature so they could overturn Biden’s victory. Trump allies, including his attorney Rudy Giuliani, presented bogus fraud claims to the state House and Senate at hearings in December 2020. The Trump campaign, with outside lawyers who supported their cause, filed meritless lawsuits that tried to overturn the Georgia results.

Trump’s campaign also recruited a group of GOP activists in Georgia to serve as fake electors, tried to weaponize the Jusice Department to help him intervene in Georgia, and has been tied by text messages obtained by Willis’ team to a voting system breach in Coffee County.

Who might be indicted: Trump is obviously at the center of the probe. But CNN recently reported that Willis is expected to seek more than a dozen others.

Prosecutors have notified some key players that they are targets of the investigation. This includes Giuliani, who was an unindicted co-conspirator in Trump’s federal indictment on 2020-related charges.

The 16 Republican activists who served as fake electors, including the chair of the Georgia Republican Party, also got target letters, though some decided to cooperate with prosecutors.

Which crimes might be charged: Earlier in the investigation, Willis said her team was investigating a wide array of potential crimes. This included solicitation of election fraud, making false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of an oath-of-office, and involvement in election-related threats.

CNN reported in March that prosecutors were eying racketeering and conspiracy charges. Willis has previously used Georgia’s state RICO laws – which stands for “racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations” – to prosecute gangs and even public school officials who oversaw a cheating scheme.

Read more about Trump’s 2020 election subversion case.

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