Aug 15, 2023 at 5:16 AM Update: 4 minutes ago
Georgia is prosecuting Donald Trump for allegedly trying to influence the result in the American state after the 2020 presidential election. This would have incited Trump to electoral fraud. The former president is being prosecuted for, among other things, forgery and extortion.
Other charges include making false statements, making and distributing false documents and obstruction.
The indictment, which runs to 98 pages and contains 41 points, according to CNN, also indicts 18 others. These include lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Earlier, the Reuters news agency spoke of thirteen points.
Trump is being charged with a violation of the so-called RICO Act. This law in the state of Georgia allows even suspects who are indirectly involved in extortion to be prosecuted. The law was originally introduced to combat organized crime.
The former president and eighteen others have until August 25 to “surrender voluntarily,” the prosecutor said. If they do not report to the authorities before then, they may be arrested.
Trump asked Georgia to ‘find votes’
Prosecutor Fani Willis has long been investigating whether Trump and his associates attempted to influence the election results in Georgia. He lost in the state to current President Joe Biden.
On January 2, 2021, Trump called his party colleague Brad Raffensperger, who was responsible for the election process in the state as a representative of the state of Georgia. In the conversation it became clear that Trump did not acknowledge his defeat. He asked Raffensperger to “find” votes, recount the votes, and “throw out” some.
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This is the fourth major criminal case against Trump
The Georgia case is Trump’s fourth criminal prosecution in 2023. Earlier this year, he had to report to a court for withholding classified documents, his role in the storming of the Capitol in January 2021 and a suspicious payment of hush money to a porn actress Stormy Daniels. Those things are still ongoing.
In addition, Trump was found guilty of sexual assault and libel in a civil suit in June. A jury considers it proven that he assaulted writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store fitting room in the 1990s.
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NU.nl foreign reporter Matthijs le Loux about the latest indictment against Trump
There is an important difference with the previous three cases against the former president. That’s mainly in the ways he can protect himself when he becomes president again next year.
Two of the three previous cases are federal: they are about the alleged violation of state laws. In the third case, the prosecutor is trying to turn relatively minor offenses in New York state into a federal matter, but it’s questionable whether that will succeed.
As the head of the federal government, a president theoretically has a number of powers that could be useful to Trump. He could pardon himself. If a trial is still pending, he could appoint a minister of justice who will stop the prosecution.
The Georgia case does not offer those possibilities. A president cannot influence the course of justice in a state in the same way. The charges are also more serious than those in New York.
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