Trump Indicted for Fourth Time for Attempts to Nullify the 2020 Election
by pedro graterol
For the fourth time this year, former President Donald Trump has been formally indicted on criminal charges. This time, in the state of Georgia, due to the conspiracy led by him and his associates to overturn the 2020 election. This indictment adds to the one presented a few months ago in New York for illicit payments, the one in Florida for withholding confidential documents, and the federal government’s formal indictment for his efforts against the democratic process in late 2020.
What makes the indictment in Georgia notable is that it allows us to observe in detail the elements that the state considers part of the electoral conspiracy. To achieve this, prosecutors have used Georgia’s RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) law, originally created in 1970 to combat organized crime. This law allows charges not only against those executing the conspiracy on the ground, but also against the leaders of criminal organizations.
As a result, the state has the opportunity to include a wealth of detailed information in the indictment, even if it’s not directly related to specific crimes but is relevant to the overall criminal plot. In this case, the extensive record of nearly 100 pages details numerous actions carried out by Trump and his allies to overturn his defeat, including his request to the Republican secretary of state to find enough votes to ensure a Republican victory, the harassment of electoral workers, and part of the plot to establish fake electors, which was pivotal in his federal indictment in early August.
One particularly notable episode describes a plan in which one of his lawyers attempted to access voting machines in a rural county in Georgia to steal data from a voting machine company. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the case, stated in a nighttime press conference that “the indictment alleges that instead of following Georgia’s legal process to challenge the elections, the accused engaged in a criminal enterprise of conspiracy to overturn the results of the presidential elections in Georgia.”
Among the indicted are also 18 associates of the president, including Mark Meadows, former White House Chief of Staff; Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and former mayor of New York; as well as Jeffrey Clark, a former official in the Trump administration’s Department of Justice. Charges have also been brought against lawyers who supported legally questionable ideas to overturn the election results. According to Willis, the accused will have the opportunity to voluntarily surrender before August 25, and the trial is expected to begin in the next six months, involving all the indicted individuals.
Furthermore, since Georgia law allows, with a judge’s approval, cameras in trials, it’s very possible that this process will be televised, something unprecedented in the former president’s encounters with the law this year. It’s important to note that this is the most serious case Trump is facing, not only due to the visibility that a televised trial would bring. If he were to win the presidency again next year, Trump wouldn’t be able to pardon himself. The alleged crimes he’s charged with in Georgia wouldn’t be subject to federal pardons, as pardon authority in the state rests with a Board of Pardons and Paroles, which operates independently from the federal government. Winning the presidency again would create important questions about his ability to wield power if he has to serve a state-level sentence. While a trial date has not yet been set, it’s crucial to closely follow this legal process and other challenges that Mr. Trump is facing. The outcome of these proceedings could have a significant impact on the upcoming presidential campaign and the political landscape in general.
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