The individuals facing charges include the former president, Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Ray Smith, Robert Cheeley, Sidney Powell, Shawn Still, Cathy Latham, David Shafer, Stephen Lee, Misty Hampton, Trevian Kutti, Jeffrey Clark, Mike Roman, Scott Hall, and Harrison Floyd.
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Trump and Meadows allegedly collaborated to instruct John McEntee, a longtime aide, to interfere with and prolong the Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress, which aimed to validate the victory of then-Democrat President-elect Joe Biden.
All 19 defendants are charged with racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act.
Trump is also facing numerous conspiracy charges and multiple counts of soliciting a public official to violate their oath. He faces charges for allegedly making false statements to state legislators and officials as well. Additional charges pertain to voting machines and individuals referred to as “false electors.”
Today, a true bill of indictment was returned by a grand jury in Fulton County, as announced by Willis following the public release of the indictment at approximately 11 p.m. ET. The indictment was based on information gathered during the investigation.
According to Willis, arrest warrants have been issued for all 19 defendants, but they have been given the chance to surrender voluntarily by August 25. Willis expressed her desire to establish a timeline that would commence the trial within six months and intends to prosecute all 19 defendants jointly.
The racketeering charge carries a mandatory prison sentence.
According to reports, there are said to be 30 individuals who have not been indicted but are considered co-conspirators.
The charges against Trump seem to be the same as those mistakenly published and promptly removed prior to the grand jury’s conclusion of proceedings. Earlier today, a website for Fulton County briefly displayed a list of criminal charges against the former president, but quickly removed them.
The 98-page indictment alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy, utilizing the same racketeering laws commonly employed to dismantle organized crime syndicates and drug cartels. Prosecutors allege that the racketeering scheme involved more than 160 acts, including a phone call made by Trump to Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger, where Trump asked him to find enough votes to declare himself the winner. Other acts include an attempt to obtain a voting machine and the submission of false information to the state Legislature.
Following the announcement, the Trump campaign dismissed the indictment as “bogus,” according to the Associated Press.
Fulton County, GA’s Democratic DA Fani Willis is campaigning and fundraising on a platform of prosecuting President Trump through indictments, which some consider to be baseless. Willis has been accused of adopting tactics similar to those used by Joe Biden in order to deliberately delay her investigation, potentially disrupting the 2024 presidential race and causing harm to the Trump campaign. The outcome of these Democratic attempts is uncertain.
Last week, barricades were erected around the Fulton courthouse in anticipation of the forthcoming announcement. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Willis, who is black, also informed employees about receiving racist threats regarding the issue.
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No problems were reported outside the Fulton County courthouse at midnight.
As of Monday, witnesses were still being subpoenaed by the district attorney’s office. Reporter George Chidi has been subpoenaed for the second time to testify before a Fulton County jury regarding a December 2020 meeting of Georgia’s “alternate” electors. At least 11 of these electors are subjects of the investigation, according to The Intercept.