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Trump, GOP allies named in Fulton County 2020 election probe indictments

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Trump, GOP allies named in Fulton County 2020 election probe indictments

Image provided by Atlanta News First

By Tim Darnell and Atlanta News First staff

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Former President Donald Trump and his GOP allies were indicted on a slew of charges in Fulton County in connection to an investigation into alleged attempts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

On Monday, a Fulton County grand jury approved the indictments in the election interference case against Trump and his allies. A Fulton County judge reviewed the findings from the grand jury and signed the paperwork around 9 p.m. on Monday.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and prosecutors have been looking into an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia, a state Trump narrowly lost.

Here are the other defendants named in the indictment:

— Lawyer Rudy Guliani

— Lawyer John Eastman

— Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

— Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro

— Former Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeffrey Clark

— Lawyer Jenna Ellis

— Lawyer Ray Smith III

— Lawyer Bob Cheeley

— Trump Campaign Staffer Michael Roman

— Former Chair of the Georgia Republican Party David Shafer

— Georgia State Senator Shawn Still

— Police Chaplain Stephen Lee

— Black Voices for Trump Leader Harrison Floyd

— Lawyer Sidney Powell

— Publicist Trevian Kutti

— Poll watcher Scott Hall

— Former Coffee County Elections official Misty Hampton

— Former Chair of the Coffee County Republican Party Cathleen Latham

The charges include:

— Violation of the Georgia RICO Act

— Perjury

— Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer

— False statements and writings

— Impersonating a public officer

— Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer

— Forgery in the first degree

— Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree

— Conspiracy to commit false statements

— Filing false statements

— Influencing witnesses

— Conspiracy to commit election fraud

— Conspiracy to commit computer theft

— Conspiracy to commit computer trespass

— Conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy

— Conspiracy to defraud the state

— Criminal attempt to commit filing false documents

In total, there are 41 counts listed in the indictment. Trump is named in 13 of the counts.

Everyone named in the indictment is facing a violation of the Georgia RICO Act charge.

Willis said at a Monday night press conference that those named in the indictment are alleged to have engaged in a “criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election results.”

Willis said as is “the normal process in Georgia law,” the grand jury has also issued arrest warrants for those charged in the indictment. Willis said she is giving them until noon on Friday, Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender.

On Monday, Trump’s campaign issued a statement following the announcement of the indictment.

“Ripping a page from Crooked Joe Biden’s playbook, Willis has strategically stalled her investigation to try and maximally interfere with the 2024 presidential race and damage the dominant Trump campaign. All of these corrupt Democrat attempts will fail,” the statement on Trump’s website said.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

On Aug. 1, Trump was indicted on four felony charges for allegedly working to overturn the results of the 2020 election ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. That 45-page indictment alleges when Trump could not persuade state officials to illegally swing the election in his favor, he and his Republican allies began recruiting a slate of fake electors in seven battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — to sign certificates falsely stating that he, not Democrat Joe Biden, had won their states.

In February 2021, Willis opened a criminal investigation “into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election,” a contest that saw Joe Biden become the first Democrat to win Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992 by less than one percent of the state’s overall vote.

A special grand jury with subpoena power was seated later that May at her request. In court filings, she alleged “a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.” Willis’ investigation also examined an alleged plot involving 16 Republicans who served as fake electors, one of whom was allegedly then-state Sen. Burt Jones, now Georgia’s lieutenant governor.

Willis’ special grand jury investigation heard from 75 witnesses. Some of the more notable figures were Gov. Brian Kemp; Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr; Raffensperger; Duncan; former White House official Mark Meadows; former U.S. House speaker and Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich; and Republican South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Last year, Raffensperger told a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol that Trump’s claims of 2020 election fraud “were false.”

Raffensperger, along with Gabriel Sterling, the office’s chief operating officer, appeared before the Democrat-led House Select Committee’s nationally televised public hearings. Raffensperger told the committee that the 2020 election went “remarkably smooth,” with average ballot-casting wait times between two to three minutes statewide. “I felt we had a successful election,” he said.

Trump has accused Willis of conducting a “strictly political witch hunt.” In a September 2022 statement, he also took aim at Atlanta as “number 1 in the country in murders and heinous crimes, especially on a per capita basis — even worse than now-fabled Chicago.

“Yet the district attorney there is spending almost all of her waking hours, which aren’t many, on attempting to prosecute a very popular president, Donald J. Trump, who got more votes in 2020 than any sitting president in the history of the United States,” Trump said at that time.

Trump announced his 2024 White House candidacy last November.

Earlier this year, Willis notified Fulton County deputies she would announce charges from her investigation sometime between July 11 and Sept. 1. She also notified Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville her office planned to work remotely during the first three weeks of August and asked no trials be scheduled during that time.

Willis’ indictments are the latest in a series of legal troubles for the nation’s 45th president. Back in April, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. With Bragg’s indictment, Trump became the first former president in history to be criminally indicted at any level.

In early May, Trump lost a civil battery and defamation case against him in New York in a case brought against him by E. Jean Carroll. The writer claimed Trump assaulted her in a New York department store back in the 1990s. A Manhattan federal jury has ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million, which the former president is appealing.

Then, on June 13, Trump was arraigned at a federal courthouse in Miami on a single federal indictment that included more than 30 charges of mishandling classified documents after he left the White House in January 2021. Trump became the first ex-president ever to face criminal charges from the federal government he once oversaw.

Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing that federal investigation, was also responsible for overseeing the criminal investigation involving Trump’s alleged role in the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, an investigation that yielded, earlier this month, the four-count felony indictment.

Key figures in the Donald Trump/Georgia election interference investigation.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office sent deputies to both New York and Miami to observe how local law enforcement prepared for any demonstrations or possible unrest in the wake of Trump’s indictments.

In late July, security barriers were seen being set up around the Fulton County Courthouse. Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said in early August his department would be ready for any demonstrations or civil unrest that may result from Willis’ indictments.

He also said the former president, if indicted, would be booked, photographed and processed at the county jail on Rice Street, a facility that has come under intense scrutiny over the last several months because of its allegedly deplorable conditions, and which is also the target of a U.S. Department of Justice civil investigation.

Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story.