By Scott D. Cosenza, Esq.
Atlanta prosecutor Fani T. Willis has indicted Donald J. Trump and eighteen others for 41 felonies concerning events that took place after the 2020 presidential election. The indictment was unveiled late on Monday, August 14, accusing the former president of 13 crimes, including the “Serious Felony” of violating Georgia’s RICO statute. Also indicted are Rudy Giuliani and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, as well as Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell. Willis alleges Trump and his co-conspirators created false electoral documents and harassed and intimidated election workers, amongst other crimes.
Fulton County’s website exposed and then removed a document detailing chargesagainst Trump on Monday afternoon around 2 p.m. The grand jury was still hearing evidence at the time and had not voted on any charges. Then it sent down charges identical to the bill of indictment eventually revealed. Was the fix in? Yes, but not in an illegal way. Ms. Willis had every expectation she would get her wish list met because that’s how grand juries operate every day across America. They hear one side of the story, presented in the light most preferable to the government and damaging to the accused. It’s a wonder any defendant can escape indictment, let alone a polarizing political figure targeted for over two years.
Indict At Will
Willis said the charges are not “partisan.” She gave a press conference after 11:30 p.m. on Monday alleging defendants conspired to “block the counting of the votes of the presidential electors who were certified as the winners of Georgia’s 2020 general election.”
Donald Trump released a contrary statement on his Truth Social account calling Willis a “rabid partisan” who “strategically stalled her investigation to try and maximally interfere with the 2024 presidential race.”
The most serious matter Trump faces from Georgia is the RICO charge. RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law many states have mirrored, including Georgia. Prosecutors celebrate the law because it gives them great power by making criminal prosecutions easier. Under the legislation, criminal liability of one defendant attaches to the actions of another. One conspirator doesn’t have to have ever met or spoken with another defendant for the law to regard them as co-conspirators and liable for the acts the other commits in furtherance of the conspiracy. In simpler terms and how the law is more typically used, the cartel kingpin doesn’t know the street-level dealer, but either may be prosecuted for what the other does.
According to Willis, the defendants have until Friday, August 25, to turn themselves in or become fugitives. She said she’s asking for a trial date within six months, including all 19 defendants in the same proceeding. Perhaps the long day got to her? No trial this complex could occur in six months nor include 19 defendants together. Where will they, their defense teams, and the army of prosecutors and court staff sit? We can be confident of only one outcome regarding these indictments – there will not be a single trial with 19 defendants in six months.
During 2022, in what The New York Times called “an embarrassing blow,” Ms. Willis was disqualified from pursuing charges against a former Republican state senator. She threatened to prosecute Burt Jones for being an “alternate elector” in the 2020 presidential election, despite fundraising for Jones’ opponent during his campaign to become Georgia’s lieutenant governor. Judge Robert McBurney said Willis “bestowed her office’s imprimatur upon Senator Jones’s opponent, and “this scenario creates a plain — and actual and untenable — conflict. Any decision the District Attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it.” Last month McBurney rejected Donald Trump’s similar motion to disqualify Willis from prosecuting Trump.
A One-Sided Affair
Geoff Duncan is a former lieutenant governor of Georgia, as well as a CNN commentator who appeared as a witness before the grand jury on Monday. In an interview on his network after testifying, Duncan said he found the experience “Like walking into a perfect meeting where everyone is prepared.” Later on, speaking to another host about Trump, he said, “He took everything from us and it’s our turn to take it back!” and “Because of the three-ring-circus of Donald Trump we will lose, lose and lose again.” Duncan’s animosity toward Trump is the kind of thing that would be laid bare at a trial and was likely untouched in the grand jury proceeding.
There are no defense lawyers in a grand jury room. Prosecutors address jurors directly, and without a judge present to keep things fair. That’s why indictments are easy and don’t always translate to convictions.
This is Trump’s fourth criminal indictment in recent months. He’s fighting federal charges in Florida over classified document handling, and more recently in DC for the January 6 riots and his post-election maneuvers. He is charged with New York state law violations for payments to Stormy Daniels. How the news impacts Mr. Trump’s political fortunes remains to be seen.
About the author: Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. is Legal Affairs Editor of LibertyNation.com. Scott writes extensively on legal issues and is the Policy Director for One Generation Away.
Source: This article was published by Liberty Nation