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Georgia’s Fulton County Trump Investigation

Georgia's Fulton County Trump Investigation

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Monday, November 14, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • In an effort that had never been done before, then-President Donald J. Trump fought against the results of a free and fair presidential election from November 2020 to January 2021.

  • FactsWhen he declared victory in Georgia before the vote count was completed, Trump started his efforts to have the election thrown out.

  • LawBased on these facts and a lot of other public reporting, Trump seems to be at a high risk of being charged with election and non-election crimes that break Georgia state law.

  • People who got letters from Willis saying they could be charged with a crime, like Rudy Giuliani and the 16 fake electors, could also be charged with a crime under Georgia law, just like Trump.

  • According to Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Trump may be charged with offences.

In an effort that had never been done before, then-President Donald J. Trump fought against the results of a free and fair presidential election from November 2020 to January 2021. The main focus of this effort was a large-scale campaign in Georgia to overturn his loss, which was backed by many recounts and legal actions. On February 10, 2021, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said that a criminal investigation would be opened into the actions of the former president and his friends because some of Trump’s actions might be illegal. According to her, charges might be decided upon as soon as November or December 2022.

In this updated version of our report from October 2021, we go over the inquiry and its foundation. We look at the public information and the relevant laws, then decide if the former president could be charged with a crime for what he did in Georgia. We conclude that Trump faces a real threat of facing criminal charges in Fulton County.

Facts

When he declared victory in Georgia before the vote count was completed, Trump started his efforts to have the election thrown out. Trump sent out a lot of false tweets accusing Georgia election officials of voter fraud while votes were still being counted from November 3 through the following week. This forced them to change how elections are usually run. In the meantime, his campaign and supporters filed a number of lawsuits in state and federal courts to try to overturn his loss. As two recounts confirmed Biden’s narrow victory, Trump’s efforts intensified.

In December 2020, Trump reportedly started calling Georgian officials, like Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr, on his own to ask them to support plans to prove that he didn’t lose. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, went to the Georgia legislature and made up stories about fraud and legal misrepresentations to try to get state lawmakers to do unusual things to change Biden’s win. Trump later found a way to put a loyalist in charge of the department after his acting attorney general wouldn’t help him with his plans. The loyalists planned to send a fake letter to the Georgia legislature to trick them and persuade them to meet and change the election results. Also, it has been said that Trump campaign workers helped set up a meeting of Republican state officials for December 14, 2020, so they could sign and send a fake electoral certificate to Congress and the National Archives that said Trump had won the state.

Finally, on January 2, Trump called Brad Raffensperger, Secretary of State, as the January 6 legislative certification of Joe Biden’s victory drew near. Trump threatened and begged Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes during the call to sway the outcome of the state’s presidential election in his favor.

Law

Based on these facts and a lot of other public reporting, Trump seems to be at a high risk of being charged with election and non-election crimes that break Georgia state law.

Georgia’s prosecutors may look into the following election-related crimes: solicitation to commit election fraud, which is against Georgia Code Ann. 21-2-604(a); intentional interference with the performance of election duties, which is against Georgia Code Ann. 21-2-597; interference with primaries and elections, which is against Georgia Code Ann. 21-2-566; and conspiracy to commit election fraud, which is against Georgia Code Ann. 21-2-603. Even though the details of these crimes are different, they all have one thing in common: Trump may have told Georgia officials to change the real results of the election, like when he called Raffensperger and told him to “find 11,780 votes” or when he may have helped set up the false elector’s scheme. Trump’s actions, both before and after the election, show that he has a clear and consistent plan to lobby for and put pressure on elected officials to change the results.

People who got letters from Willis saying they could be charged with a crime, like Rudy Giuliani and the 16 fake electors, could also be charged with a crime under Georgia law, just like Trump.

There is also evidence that Trump and his group, including the fake electors, may have committed other crimes unrelated to the election, such as making false statements in violation of Georgia Code Ann. 16-10-20, improperly influencing public officials in violation of Ga. Code Ann. 16-10-93, forging documents in the first degree in violation of Ga. Code Ann. 16-9-1, and criminal solicitation in violation of Ga. Code Ann. 16-4-7. The same fundamental facts are at play: Trump is accused of misrepresenting Georgia officials about the 2020 election and using that misrepresentation, intimidation, and threats to pressure them into changing the election outcome.

According to Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Trump may be charged with offenses. The law recognizes that breaking a single criminal code is terrible, but breaking multiple rules simultaneously is even worse and should be punished more harshly. For the law to bring charges, there has to be a “pattern” of bad behavior, which is shown by two or more specific crimes, like making false statements or using improper influence. Willis is good at prosecuting RICO cases, and one member of her investigation team is an expert in RICO.

Defences

If the district attorney files charges, Trump’s lawyers would probably make a number of arguments that either downplay his actions or try to keep them from being prosecuted. Some of these could be that Trump has immunity, which protects federal officials from breaking the powers given to them by the Constitution and federal laws; that his contacts with Georgian officials are protected by the First Amendment; that charging him would be unfair or a form of retaliation; or that he didn’t mean to do anything wrong because he thought he had won the election. We also consider what would happen if Trump attempted to have the Georgia case against him transferred to federal court, as well as the possibility that he would seek a preemptive pardon from the state. Even though these arguments are worth studying, we think they are wrong and won’t help Trump.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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