Donald Trump, 18 others indicted in Georgia election probe
The indictment comes two and a half years after Willis started her investigation.
A Georgia grand jury on Monday night handed up an indictment charging former President Donald Trump and 18 others with engaging in a broad conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.
The indictment was the dramatic conclusion to a 2-plus year investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat.
In addition to the former president, the others facing charges include former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, attorneys Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Ray Smith, Robert Cheeley, and Sidney Powell; would-be Trump electors Shawn Still, Cathy Latham, and David Shafer; pastor Stephen Lee, election official Misty Hampton, publicist Trevian Kutti, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, Trump campaign official Mike Roman, Scott Hall, and Black Voices for Trump leader Harrison Floyd.
Trump and Meadows are accused of working together to direct longtime aide John McEntee to disrupt and delay the Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress to certify then-Democrat President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
All 19 defendants face racketeering charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as the RICO Act.
Trump also faces myriad conspiracy charges and multiple counts of soliciting a public official to violate their oath. He also faces charges for allegedly making false statements to state legislators and officials. Other charges are related to voting machines and so-called "false electors."
"Today, based on information developed by [the] investigation in Fulton County, a grand jury returned a true bill of indictment," Willis said after the indictment was made public at about 11 p.m. ET.
Willis also said she has issued arrest warrants for all 19 defendants but gave them the opportunity to surrender voluntarily by August 25. In addition, Willis said she hopes to create a schedule that would start the trial in six months and plans to try all 19 defendants together.
The racketeering charge carries as mandatory prison sentence.
There are reportedly 30 un-indicted co-conspirators.
The charges against Trump appear to be identical to those erroneously posted, then swiftly deleted before the grand jury concluded proceedings. Earlier in the day, a website for Fulton County briefly listed a litany of criminal charges against the former president, but promptly deleted them.
The 98-page indictment alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy, using the same racketeering laws that have been used to bring down the mob and drug cartels. It identified over 160 acts that prosecutors allege were part of the racketeering scheme, including Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to find enough votes to declare Trump the winner, an effort to obtain a voting machine, and the submission of false information to the state Legislature.
After the announcement, the Trump campaign called the indictment "bogus."
"Fulton County, GA’s radical Democrat DA Fani Willis is a rabid partisan who is campaigning and fundraising on a platform of prosecuting President Trump through these bogus indictments," the statement read. "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."
Barricades went up last week around the Fulton courthouse in preparation for the announcement. Willis, who is black, also told employees that she received racist threats over the matter, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
There were no reports of problems outside of the Fulton County courthouse at midnight.
As recently as Monday, the district attorney's office was still subpoenaing witnesses. Reporter George Chidi said in The Intercept that he received a subpoena Monday to testify for the second time before a Fulton County jury about what he saw during a December 2020 meeting of Georgia's so-called "alternate" electors, at least 11 of whom are targets in the probe.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.