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Trump and 18 others, including Giuliani and Meadows, indicted in Georgia
Fulton County DA Fani Willis's long-running investigation gave way to an explosive Monday night indictment. Also: A book event this Thursday!
Donald Trump was indicted, again.
This time, it was in Georgia.
This time, he was not alone.
Among the others indicted on Monday were several national figures, including Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Michael Roman. Among the others indicted are a Georgia state senator, Shawn Still, and the former head of the state Republican Party, David Shafer.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s lengthy investigation resulted in a 41-count indictment against 19 people in all, for what the indictment alleges was their decision to have “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.”
Trump himself faces 13 charges, while others face anywhere from 2 to 13 counts.
And despite all of that, there were still 30 unindicted co-conspirators identified, though not named, in the document.
At a news conference after the indictment was made public, Willis said that arrest warrants were issued for everyone charged but that she is giving them “the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday the 25th day of August, 2023” — next Friday.
The primary, Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO), count is brought against all 19 people charged. For more on the law, see these NPR and Newshour stories — but also this story about Willis’s use of the law in a different context, the Young Thug prosecution.
In the Georgia RICO count, the indictment lays out an astonishing 161 “overt acts to effect the objectives of the enterprise” over 50 pages of the nearly 100-page indictment. Trump also faces several conspiracy charges, multiple solicitation and false statements charges, and a charge of filing false documents.
There’s a lot in it, much of which has, at least in part, been discussed at the Jan. 6 Committee hearings or in its report, in contemporaneous or subsequent news reporting, or in other indictments. But, seeing this laid out — both more expansively, in some ways, and more specifically, in parts, than in the special counsel’s DC federal indictment of Trump relating to election interference — is to bear witness to how determined Trump was to overturning the election, how many people were willing to help, and how much they were willing to do to try and make that reality happen.
These three acts, for me, really summed much of it up.
The charges are allegations, and the question of whether Trump and the other 18 people indicted in Georgia are guilty of those 41 counts remains to be seen.
But, within those 161 overt acts, a close read shows that many of them are simple, factual statements of things that either are easily proven — like sending an email or placing a call — or were done in public, often on camera, and known in real time.
The attacks against Ruby Freeman and her daughter and Trump’s call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger both figure prominently in the indictment — both within the overt acts of the Georgia RICO count and the other counts.
Within those overt acts, there’s stuff like this, where what I suspect was Google Sheets found its way into the Georgia indictment — as Mike Roman allegedly laid out precisely just how coordinated this all was.
The indictment also lays out allegations that the conspiracy continued even after Jan. 6 — through to a final overt act alleging that someone in September 2022 perjured themself before the Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury that was earlier empaneled in conjunction with the investigation underlying Monday’s indictments.
It’s really quite an astounding document that details, down to the day, much — but not all — that was happening to attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
“Dec 23 memo on Jan 6 scenario.docx“
As the Georgia indictment moves closer to Jan. 6, 2021, the preparations are laid out in great detail, including the sharing of a “PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL -- Dec 23 memo on Jan 6 scenario.docx“ memo among multiple people. One of the points that stood out to me was a suggestion that either then-Vice President Mike Pence or then-Senate president pro tempore Chuck Grassley could be dealing with the electoral count on Jan. 6, 2021.
This immediately reminded me of a strange moment from Jan. 5, 2021:
As the story details, “Grassley’s staff later said that was a ‘misinterpretation’ and that Pence was expected to be there.“
[Update, 10:30 p.m.: To be clear, Grassley’s staff have maintained over time — both in 2021 and 2022 — that Grassley was not approached by any of Trump’s people to be involved in the effort to upend the electoral counting on Jan. 6, as Laura Belin at Bleeding Heartland has detailed.]
Law Dork with Chris Geidner brings you independent, reader-supported legal and political journalism that seeks to hold government and other public officials accountable. Support this reporting by becoming a paid or free subscriber today.
Law Dork in conversation with Jocelyn Simonson
On a different and somewhat conflicting ending note, I wanted to let folks know about an event coming up Thursday evening. I’ll be in conversation at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, with Jocelyn Simonson — a law professor at Brooklyn Law School and the author of a new book that comes out today, Radical Acts of Justice.
I’ll have more on the book soon here at Law Dork, but, suffice it to say that I think it’s an important book. Anyone interested in the criminal justice system — or what “justice” means — would benefit from a read through it. While its focus is on local actions by, as Simonson puts it in the subtitle, “ordinary people,” I actually think it’s as instructive and important for national policymakers to read and think about as it is for local advocates.
For now, though, I just wanted to give people in DC a heads up so that they can get this conversation on their schedule. (Out of towners, it will also be livestreamed!) Jocelyn and I had a pre-chat on Monday, and I think it’s going to be a really engaging, interesting conversation.
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