Georgia Charges Trump, Former Allies 

Indictment lists 19 co-defendants and 41 total criminal charges in the election case 

By Pat Gainor, Staff Writer

Former President Donald Trump was booked into the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Aug. 24 after being indicted by Georgia on charges that he participated in an extensive illegal scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

On Aug. 14, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis published a 98-page indictment charging Trump and 18 associates with 13 counts surrounding his alleged attempt to falsely overturn the 2020 election. The charges include filing of false documents, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to impersonate a public officer. 

The indictment contained 19 co-defendants and 41 criminal charges in total. All of the defendants were charged with racketeering, and most are expected to be arraigned at the Fulton County Jail next Wednesday.

“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,” the indictment reads.

The first co-defendant in the case is Georgia-based attorney Ray Smith who formerly worked for Trump. Smith waived his arraignment and entered a not guilty plea in writing, court records show.

The accusation of conspiracy is the fourth criminal charge brought against Trump in four months. 

The former president has denied all charges, posting his mugshot on X with the caption “NEVER SURRENDER.” This is his first post on X since he was banned from the platform in 2021.

The case stems from an alleged phone call on Jan. 2, 2021 between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, with the former demanding that the latter “find” enough votes to reverse his loss in the state. The action would have necessitated the creation of around 12 thousand fraudulent votes. 

The indictment also includes allegedly false testimonies from Trump and his associates about election fraud occurring and encouraging officials to breach their oaths of office to alter the results. Experts say that Trump’s “overt acts” promoted the conspiracy pushed by an alleged “criminal enterprise.” 

Photo courtesy

“Overt acts can be anything that is done that’s for the purpose of advancing the goals of the conspiracy, but they don’t have to be necessarily criminal themselves,” Morgan Cloud, a professor of law at Emory University in Atlanta, said.

“Overt acts ‘can be anything that is done that’s for the purpose of advancing the goals of the conspiracy,’” she added.

Before being booked, a judge came to an agreement with Trump’s lawyers to set his bond at $200,000. 

In exchange, Trump has been disallowed from communication with co-defendants and witnesses. Trump was at Fulton County Jail for approximately twenty minutes before departing back to New Jersey.

In Fulton County, trials regarding the 2020 election are set to begin on Oct. 23, when Kenneth Chesebro, who formerly served as Trump’s attorney, will face trial for racketeering charges.

Trump’s lawyer, Steven Sadow, has alerted the District Attorney’s office of Trump’s intent to “sever his case from that of co-defendant Chesebro, who has filed a demand for speedy trial, or any other co-defendant who files such a demand.”

Many experts believe that other co-defendants will follow suit in severing their cases from the other defendants and seeking a separate trial in federal court. 

“I think most of them will want to stand on their own. That will allow them, I suspect, to blame others and to attempt to shoulder responsibility to third parties,” Anthony Michael Kreis, a Georgia State University law professor, said.

Despite his absence from the first Republican Presidential debate last week, a Reuters poll has the former president leading Republican respondents with 52%, a 39-point advantage over slumping contender Ron DeSantis.