A grand jury in Georgia will decide this week on what could be Donald Trump’s fourth indictment of 2023.
Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to present her evidence on whether Trump and allies tried to manipulate the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. On Monday, a document was posted on the Fulton County court’s website that suggested the charges will include racketeering, conspiracy and making false statements.
Earlier this year, Trump became the first U.S. president in history to face criminal charges. No one thought he would break that record on three occasions.
With a fourth criminal case imminent, Trump’s agenda will be packed with hearings and testimonies ahead of the 2024 election, for which he continues to be the GOP’s favorite candidate against President Joe Biden.
Trump’s Legal Woes: Trump has been indicted three times: the first case originates in Manhattan, with charges related to the payment of “hush money” to former adult film star Stormy Daniels. The other two indictments are federal cases, one involving the mismanagement of classified documents during his time in office and another that follows an investigation by special counsel Jack Smith, who accuses Trump of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election by use of violence during the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising.
Smith’s investigation also examines Trump’s action in Georgia through a key piece of evidence: the recordings from a call Trump made on Jan. 2, 2021 in which he asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “to find 11,780 votes” after it was made public that Biden had won the state by 11,779 votes.
That event has led to an overlap between Smith’s federal investigation and Georgia’s own probe. Willis, district attorney for Fulton County — where Atlanta is located — is leading a separate investigation into Trump’s alleged interference in Georgia’s presidential election results.
Willis is expected to use Georgia’s RICO Act, which is modeled after the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970. The law was put in place as an instrument to prosecute Mafia leaders who were often made to look innocent from the crimes of their organizations.
A Georgia grand jury will look at the evidence this week and could move to indict Trump.
A CNN report said that Georgia prosecutors are in possession of text messages and emails that directly connect members of Trump’s legal team with a voting system breach in Republican-heavy Coffee County during the 2020 election.
Trump allies allegedly attempted to access voting records in Coffee County in an effort to gather evidence of electoral fraud against Trump. According to a former Trump aide who testified for the House Jan. 6 committee, plans to intervene in Georgia voting systems were discussed in the Oval Office with Trump himself.
Over a dozen Trump allies, as well as the former president, could be indicted by the grand jury as Willis presents her case, which is expected to include racketeering charges. Breaking racketeering law could translate into five to 20 years in prison upon conviction, according to the NY Times.
Bringing Trump in front of the court in Georgia could prove difficult given the many legal commitments the former president is facing related to his other charges. Trump’s hush money case has a trial date of March 24, 2024 while the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case is slated for a May 2024 trial. Last week, Smith proposed a Jan 2, 2024 trial date for Trump’s federal case on election interference. A hearing on that case is scheduled for Aug. 28.
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