Former President Trump was indicted out of the years-long criminal investigation led by state prosecutors in Georgia into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state.
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, Jeff Clark, John Eastman, and others, were also charged out of the years-long investigation.
The charges include violating the Georgia RICO Act—the Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations Act; Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer; Conspiracy to Commit Impersonating a Public Officer; Conspiracy to Commit Forgery in the First Degree; Conspiracy to Commit False Statements and Writings; Conspiracy to Commit Filing False Documents; Conspiracy to Commit Forgery in the First Degree; Filing False Documents; and Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer.
This is the fourth time Trump has been indicted. Trump is the first former president in U.S. history to be indicted on criminal charges.
Following the 2020 presidential election, Trump reportedly insisted during a phone call with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that he had won the state of Georgia. Trump urged him to “find” enough votes to reverse the state’s results.
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Donald Trump is the first former president to be indicted on criminal charges. ( SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images))
Trump also reportedly said: “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Georgia certified election results showing that Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden won the state’s Nov. 3 election by 11,779 votes.
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In the weeks following the election, Trump refused to concede to then-President-elect Joe Biden, and his campaign launched a number of legal challenges. Trump also allegedly urged states with Republican governors and legislatures to overturn Biden’s victories.
A special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, this year released portions of a report detailing findings from the investigation. That report indicated a majority of the grand jury believes one or more witnesses may have committed perjury in their testimony and recommends that prosecutors pursue indictments against them, if the district attorney finds the evidence compelling.
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ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 11: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on November 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. At the press conference Raffensperger announced an audit of the Secretary of State race. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
At the time of the report’s release, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said it had “nothing to do” with Trump and maintained that the former president “did absolutely nothing wrong.”
The special grand jury spent about seven months hearing testimony from witnesses, including high-profile Trump allies, such as attorney Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and high-ranking Georgia officials, including Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp.
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Trump has already been indicted on other charges this year, and is the first former President of the United States in history to face criminal charges.
Trump was indicted out of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021 earlier this month. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges–conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
Smith also charged Trump in June in his investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency. Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts. Those charges included willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Last month, Trump was charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of that probe.
DAVENPORT, IOWA – MARCH 13: Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Adler Theatre on March 13, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa. Trump’s visit follows those by potential challengers for the GOP presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who hosted events in the state last week. ((Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))
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And in April, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts in New York in April stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation. Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.