The former president was indicted on Monday in Georgia for his alleged roles in trying to overturn the 2020 election, with prosecutors accusing the former president of being head of ‘a criminal organization’.
Seeing an opportunity to galvanize his base, Trump and his campaign sent an angry email to supporters in which he attacked Fani Willis, the district attorney for Georgia’s Fulton County, as well as ‘crooked Joe’ Biden – all while calling on his supporters to donate towards his 2024 presidential race.
‘Justice and the rule of law are officially DEAD in America,’ Trump declared in the email sent at around 3 a.m. ET, adorned with his ‘Trump 2024’ heading.
Trump’s email called Willis a ‘left wing prosecutor’ with ‘extreme anti-Trump bias’, and said: ‘She has INDICTED me despite having committed NO CRIME,’ before going on to say: ‘I will NEVER SURRENDER our country to these tyrants.’
A furious Donald Trump sent a fundraising email in the early hours of Tuesday morning, shortly after being indicted for a fourth time this year
Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, secured the 41-count indictment from a grand jury on Monday
Willis secured the 41-count indictment from a grand jury on Monday, and told a press conference it alleged ‘violations of Georgia law arising from a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the election in this state.’
The case – relying on laws typically used to bring down mobsters – is the fourth targeting the 77-year-old Republican this year and could lead to a watershed moment, the first televised trial of a former president in US history.
He was charged along with 18 others – Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Mark Meadows, Ken Cheseboro, Jeffrey Clark, Jenna Ellis, Ray Smith III, Robert Cheeley, Michael Roman, David Shafer, Shawn Still, Stephen Lee, Harrison Floyd, Trevian Kutti, Sidney Powell, Cathleen Latham, Scott Hall and Misty Hampton.
Willis said she wants to try them all at the same time. They have until noon on August 25 to turn themselves in, or else an arrest warrant will be issued.
There are also 30 ‘un-indicted co-conspirators’ – people accused of being part of the plot but not named or charged.
In an earlier post on Truth Social, Trump called her ‘an out of control and very corrupt District Attorney’, and declared that the charges were part of a ‘witch hunt’.
He followed this up with the fundraising email.
‘This marks the FOURTH ACT of Election Interference on behalf of the Democrats in an attempt to keep the White House under Crooked Joe’s control and JAIL his single greatest opponent of the 2024 election,’ the email said.
‘We’re watching those efforts unfold as Crooked Joe’s henchmen follow their boss’ orders by targeting me in baseless witch hunts in an attempt to JAIL ME FOR LIFE as an innocent man.’
He then went on to attack Willis over a previous conflict of interest which meant she was blocked in 2022 from questioning a lawmaker – Sen. Burt Jones – who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump won the state of Georgia in 2020.
Seeing an opportunity to galvanize his base, Trump and his campaign sent an angry email (pictured) to supporters early on Tuesday morning in which he attacked Fani Willis, the district attorney for Georgia’s Fulton County, as well as ‘crooked Joe’ Biden – all while calling on his supporters to donate towards his 2024 presidential race
The message to Trump’s supporters (pictured) attacked district attorney, the justice system, calling America a ‘Marxist Third World dictatorship led by an incompetent yet crooked tyrant’. ‘Communism has finally reached America’s shores,’ it said
A judge ruled in July 2022 that Willis had a conflict of interest because she hosted a fundraiser last month for Jones’ Democratic opponent in November’s election for lieutenant governor. Willis could still ask other witnesses about Jones, the judge said, but was not allowed to bring charges against him.
Trump’s email said: ‘Her bias was so terrible that she had to be REMOVED from one part of the case because of a “political conflict of interest” of her own creation.’
He also hit out Emily Kohrs, 30, the Georgia grand jury forewoman who laughed at the idea of bringing down the former president.
Kohrs went on a bizarre media tour that caused headaches for prosecutors after she giggled during a televised interview with MSNBC when she said she ‘kind of wanted’ to subpoena Trump just to get the chance to swear him in.
‘The FOREPERSON of the GRAND JURY broke a veil of secrecy by going on a media tour with the Fake News, GIGGLING on TV about the idea of serving me with a subpoena and unjustly robbing me of my liberty,’ the email said.
The message to Trump’s supporters then went on to attack the justice system, calling America a ‘Marxist Third World dictatorship led by an incompetent yet crooked tyrant’. ‘Communism has finally reached America’s shores,’ it said.
‘But while these certainly are dark times for our country, I will NEVER give up on America,’ Trump told his supporters.
‘The more I see these rogue prosecutors weaponize our legal system to criminalize dissent and imprison their political opponents, the stronger my resolve to save our country. Because I know that if these illegal persecutions succeed, if they’re allowed to set fire to the law, then it will not end with me… They’ll come for YOU.
‘America is the greatest nation in history – and I WILL NEVER SURRENDER our country to these radical tyrants who seek to destroy it,’ he said.
To close off the email, Trump said he would ‘never abandon our mission’, adding ‘the fate of our nation hangs in the balance in the 2024 election,’ before going on to request donations from the email’s recipients
To close off the email, Trump said he would ‘never abandon our mission’, adding ‘the fate of our nation hangs in the balance in the 2024 election,’ before going on to request donations from the email’s recipients.
‘If you are doing poorly right now due to the very sinister people who are ripping our country to shreds, then just hit the back button and go about your day. I seriously mean it!’ the email said.
‘But if not, I don’t have to tell you that the stakes of this election have never been greater. Our Republic is hanging by a thread, and America needs you right now.
‘Please make a contribution to show that you will NEVER SURRENDER our country to tyranny as the Deep State thugs try to JAIL me for life – for 1,500% impact.’
He is also charged with solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer; conspiracy to commit forgery in the first-degree; perjury; and a host of other counts.
If convicted on all charges, he faces 71 years in prison – and state charges, unlike federal, cannot be pardoned by a president.
Trump called Willis a ‘rabid partisan’, but on Monday night she told a press conference: ‘I make decisions in this office based on the facts and the law. The law is non-partisan.
‘We look at the facts, we look at the law, and we bring charges.’
John Eastman (left) and Rudy Giuliani (right) were among the co-defendants charged along with Trump
Sidney Powell and Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, were among those charged
LATEST DONALD TRUMP NEWS
Willis declined to say whether she has spoken with Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, who has indicted Trump on federal charges of attempting to overturn the election.
Trump charged with 13 of the 41 counts in the indictment
Count 1: Violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act
Count 5: Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer
Count 9: Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer
Count 11: Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
Count 13: Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
Count 15: Conspiracy to commit filing false documents
Count 17: Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
Count 19: Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
Count 27: Filing false documents
Count 28: Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer
Count 29: False statements and writings
Count 38: Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer
Count 39: False statements and writings
She said the time frame for the Georgia trial was up to the judge.
‘This office will be submitting a proposed scheduling order: however, it will be at the discretion of the judge,’ she said.
Asked if she wanted her case to be tried before or after Smith’s, she replied: ‘I don’t have any desire to be first or last.’
Trump’s attorneys – Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg – described the indictment as ‘shocking and absurd.’
They pointed out that the indictment was briefly published online hours before it was officially filed, and said it forced Willis to rush through the charges.
‘In light of this major fumble, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office clearly decided to force through and rush this 98-page indictment,’ they said.
‘This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests— some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result.
‘We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been.’
Trump also referenced the leaked indictment, saying it suggested the case was ‘rigged’.
‘So, the Witch Hunt continues!’ he wrote on Truth Social.
’19 people Indicated [sic] tonight, including the former President of the United States, me, by an out of control and very corrupt District Attorney who campaigned and raised money on, ‘I will get Trump.’
‘And what about those Indictment Documents put out today, long before the Grand Jury even voted, and then quickly withdrawn? Sounds Rigged to me!
‘Why didn’t they Indict 2.5 years ago? Because they wanted to do it right in the middle of my political campaign. Witch Hunt!’
Giuliani, in a statement issued by his advisor, called the indictment ‘an affront to American Democracy’ that ‘does permanent, irrevocable harm to our justice system.’
The former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer called it ‘just the next chapter in a book of lies with the purpose of framing President Donald Trump and anyone willing to take on the ruling regime.’
‘The real criminals here are the people who have brought this case forward both directly and indirectly,’ he said.
Giuliani, while working as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was famed for his use of the RICO laws to prosecute mob bosses – the very charges that are now filed against him.
All 19 defendants were charged with ‘violation of the RICO’ act – usually used to charge a group of people and a ring leader.
Willis has said she likes the RICO statute because it allows prosecutors to paint a more complete picture of the alleged illegal activity.
Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro was charged with seven counts Monday. He is widely credited with masterminding the legal plot to halt the certification of the Electoral College in Congress
A former senior member of Trump’s Department of Justice, Clark sought to use the power of federal law enforcement to help overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat
Jenna Ellis – a former member of Trump’s personal legal team – and currently a staunch backer of Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid – was charged with two counts on Monday
Ray Smith III pictured here at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta during an election hearing on December 3, 2020. He is charged with making false claims at a legislative session
Robert Cheeley was handed ten counts, including perjury. He allegedly asserted that some Georgia election workers were double- and triple-counting votes
A former senior Trump campaign staffer, Michael Roman is believed to have helped execute on the plan to replace the slate of Georgia electors with pro-Trump options
The former chair of the Georgia Republican Party, David Shafer has also been charged in relation to the alternative slate of electoral representatives from Georgia
Shawn Still, a Georgia state senator, was one of the alternate Georgia electors who was working to keep Trump in office another term
Stephen Lee is a Lutheran pastor from the Midwest, who is believed to have been part of an effort to intimidate Atlanta election workers
A former mixed martial arts fighter who once led a group called ‘Black Voices for Trump,’ Harrison Floyd is among those believed to have engaged in efforts to intimidate Atlanta election workers
A former publicist for Kanye ‘Ye’ West, Trevian Kutti was allegedly part of a plot in Fulton County to pressure an election worker into falsely admitting they committed fraud during the 2020 election
Cathleen Latham is the former head of the Coffee County, Georgia Republican Party. She was allegedly involved in an effort by pro-Trump forces to copy sensitive election software in January 2021
Bail bondsman Scott Hall is alleged to have helped Trump supporters access election equipment in rural Coffee County, Georgia
Misty Hampton is charged with a number of computer-related crimes in the Fulton County indictment
‘Defendant Donald John Trump lost the United States presidential election held on November 3,2020,’ the 98-page indictment begins.
Who’s who in the Georgia indictment
Donald Trump: former president
Rudy Giuliani: former Trump attorney
John Eastman: attorney
Mark Meadows: former Trump chief of staff
Kenneth Chesebro: former Trump campaign attorney
Jeffrey Clark: former Justice Department official
Jenna Ellis: former member of Trump legal team
Ray Smith III: the lawyer who represented Trump in 2020 election challenges in Georgia
Robert Cheeley: Atlanta lawyer
Michael Roman: former Trump staffer
David Shafer: a fraudulent 2020 Republican elector and former chairman of the Georgia GOP
Shawn Still: one of the fraudulent 2020 electors and a current member of the Georgia Senate
Stephen Lee: an Illinois police chaplain
Harrison Floyd: executive director of Black Voices for Trump
Trevian Kutti: a Chicago-based publicist who represented Kanye West
Sidney Powell: former Trump legal team member
Cathy Latham: one of the fraudulent 2020 electors and former chairwoman of the Coffee County Republican Party in Georgia
Scott Hall: a 2020 Fulton County Republican poll watcher
Misty Hampton: former Coffee County Elections Director
Source: NBC News
‘One of the states he lost was Georgia.
‘Trump and the other Defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.
‘That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the State of Georgia, and in other states.’
The indictment spells out, in a series of ‘acts’, the actions of the accused.
The group is accused of lying to state officials; leaning on Justice Department figures to try and get their support; creating false election documents; and harassing election workers.
They are accused of trying to enlist Vice President Mike Pence in their scheme.
‘Members of the enterprise, including several of the Defendants, corruptly solicited the Vice President of the United States to violate the United States Constitution and federal law by unlawfully rejecting Electoral College votes cast in Fulton County, Georgia, by the duly elected and qualified presidential electors from Georgia,’ the indictment states.
Willis’ document details phone records showing that the 19 were in frequent contact in the run-up to January 6 – the day of the Capitol riot.
Trump rang Pence on January 5, according to the indictment, and told him: ‘You gotta be tough tomorrow.’
The prosecutors add: ‘This was an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.’
The indictment charges Trump with making false statements and writings for a series of claims he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other state election officials on January 2, 2021, including that up to 300,000 ballots ‘were dropped mysteriously into the rolls’ in the 2020 election, that more than 4,500 people voted who weren’t on registration lists and that a Fulton County election worker, Ruby Freeman, was a ‘professional vote scammer.’
The indictment also mentions the now infamous December 18, 2020, session in the Oval Office, where Trump allies including Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, proposed ordering the military to seize voting machines and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of voter fraud in Georgia and other crucial states Trump had lost.
Prosecutors say the meeting at the White House, which included Giuliani, was part of an effort to ‘influence the outcome’ of the election.
Days later, prosecutors say, Meadows traveled to Cobb County and attempted to observe a signature match audit being performed ‘despite the fact that the process was not open to the public.’
Several state officials prevented the then-chief of staff from entering the prohibited area.
Georgia presents perhaps the most serious threat to Trump’s liberty as he leads the field comfortably for his party’s nomination to bid for reelection.
Even if he is returned to the Oval Office, he would have none of the powers that presidents arguably enjoy in the federal system to pardon themselves or have prosecutors drop cases.
The harsh penalties associated with RICO cases can be an incentive for co-defendants to seek cooperation deals, and the statutes are usually used to target organized crime.
Thirty unindicted co-conspirators were mentioned in the indictment.
Under federal law, anyone who can be connected to a criminal ‘enterprise’ through which offenses were committed can be convicted under RICO. The broader Georgia law doesn’t even require the existence of the enterprise.
Other Trump allies were charged over the accessing of sensitive data from an election office in a rural county south of Atlanta one day after the 2021 Capitol riot.
Trump is already facing dozens of felony charges after being federally indicted over the alleged plot to subvert the election, and further prosecutions over his alleged mishandling of classified documents and keeping allegedly fraudulent business records.
Authorities in Atlanta installed security barricades outside the downtown courthouse in anticipation of a potential influx of Trump supporters and counter-protesters in the latest case.
Lawmakers investigating Trump’s efforts to cling to power heard evidence in a series of congressional hearings last summer that would challenge his potential defense that he genuinely believed he had been cheated of the election.
Trump is likely to claim that his right to free speech and genuine concerns about voter fraud protect him from the latest charges.
But legal experts say the case appears to be a straightforward fraud prosecution that will turn on whether Trump knowingly broke the law, regardless of whether he believed his actions were justified.
‘Even if he thought he had a right to do what he did, that doesn’t justify fraudulent activity,’ said former federal prosecutor E. Danya Perry.
‘If you believe money in someone else’s bank account is rightfully yours, that doesn’t mean you can embezzle it.’