Trump slapped with more criminal charges
A Georgia grand jury has voted to indict former US President Donald Trump on 41 criminal counts, including a felony racketeering charge linked to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential race.
Several of his current and former allies also face prosecution, among them ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who previously served as Trump’s lawyer.
District Attorney Fani Willis of Fulton County, Georgia, unveiled the new case on Monday night, with the ex-president set to be charged for an alleged violation of the state’s organized crime law, known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or RICO.
The charges also include several counts for conspiracy to interfere in an election, perjury, and others for soliciting a public official to violate their oath.
“Trump and the other defendants 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,” a charging document said.
The racketeering charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the conspiracy counts could each result in one year behind bars at minimum.
In addition to Trump, 18 others were also indicted as part of the same case, including his White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and a long list of current and former lawyers, such as Giuliani, who was once a vocal advocate for the ex-president. All are accused of seeking to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential race.
The latest criminal case centers on allegations that Trump sought to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to help him win the last presidential race, having urged the official to “find 11,780 votes” in his own favor during a much-publicized January 2, 2021 phone call.
Though Raffensperger declined to “find” the votes Trump would have needed to win, the Atlanta-area DA launched a probe in 2021 to determine whether the president’s request amounted to criminal activity, which ultimately resulted in a grand jury.
While Reuters shared details from a charging sheet posted by a Georgia court earlier on Monday, local officials later removed the document from public view, with the Fulton clerk’s office insisting a “fictitious document” had been circulated online, without elaborating.
The document outlined 12 felony counts against the former president, including one charge linked to Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). County officials have not clarified what appeared on the court’s website, and did not confirm whether it was the same file seen by Reuters.
Trump’s lawyers responded to the mishap in a statement, insisting it was “not a simple administrative mistake.”
“A proposed indictment should only be in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office, yet it somehow made its way to the clerk’s office and was assigned a case number and a judge before the grand jury even deliberated,” defense attorneys Drew Findling and Jennifer Little said.
The new charges mark Trump’s fourth criminal indictment this year alone, with federal prosecutors previously slapping him with dozens of felony counts for the alleged mishandling of classified material after leaving the White House in 2021. He has also been charged in New York for an alleged hush-money scheme with porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign, and faces a separate election-interference case led by special counsel Jack Smith, who is also spearheading the classified documents trial.