The Trump Georgia Indictment, Annotated

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By Usa Express Daily


A grand jury in Fulton County, Ga., on Monday unveiled the fourth criminal indictment of former President Donald J. Trump. Like a federal indictment earlier this month, this one concerns Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. But it differs in that it charges 18 other defendants who are alleged to have taken part in the scheme.


The 41 Counts in the Georgia Indictment


22 counts

Related to forgery or false documents and statements

8 counts

Related to soliciting or impersonating public officers

3 counts

Related to influencing witnesses

3 counts

Related to election fraud or defrauding the state

3 counts

Related to computer tampering

1 count

Related to racketeering

1 count

Related to perjury


The New York Times is annotating the document.

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1
This indictment charges Mr. Trump under Georgia state law, unlike the two previous federal indictments he is facing for mishandling of documents and attempting to overturn the election. This is significant because Mr. Trump, if re-elected as president, would not be able to pardon himself.

2
Even though the Georgia indictment overlaps in some respects with the election interference indictment brought this month against Mr. Trump by the special counsel, Jack Smith, there should not be any concerns about double jeopardy. The two indictments, while similar, charge violations of different types of law — one from the state system, the other from the federal system.

3
This is a sprawling indictment, outlining a vast racketeering conspiracy and charging a number of additional crimes, including conspiracy to commit forgery and making false statements.

4
By using a state version of the RICO Act — short for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — prosecutors in Georgia will be able to connect the dots between the ways in which Mr. Trump and several of his far-flung allies worked together toward the common goal of allegedly seeking to overturn the results of the election in that state. The RICO statute, which is often leveled against the mafia, street gangs and other organized crime outfits, is a powerful tool that will permit the prosecution to bring all of the strands of the election conspiracy into one coherent narrative.

5
Although the recent federal indictment of Mr. Trump referred to six co-conspirators who assisted his effort to overturn the election results, no one else was charged alongside him. This indictment in Georgia for the first time charges a number of Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers, a notable move that ensnared some of the most prominent names in Trump World.

6
By comparison, the recent federal indictment of Mr. Trump charged only four offenses in connection with his effort to stay in power. Those included three conspiracy charges — one to defraud the United States, a second to obstruct an official government proceeding and a third to deprive people of civil rights provided by federal law or the Constitution — and a fourth charge of attempting to obstruct an official proceeding, meaning the certification of the election results by Congress.

7
Two of the highest-profile defendants are Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor turned Trump lawyer who oversaw much of the fight to overturn the election, and Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff at the time of the election. Until now, neither had faced criminal liability, though Mr. Giuliani was an unnamed co-conspirator in the federal case unveiled against Mr. Trump this month.

8
Mr. Meadows and Mr. Giuliani might challenge the indictment on the grounds that they were forced to testify before a special grand jury in Fulton County that was previously investigating Mr. Trump’s election interference. In general, prosecutors cannot force someone who is the target of an investigation to testify before a grand jury, though Ms. Willis’s office could argue that the testimony occurred before an earlier grand jury that was investigating only and did not have the power to indict.

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9
While the alleged racketeering activity comprises the meat of the indictment, prosecutors also charged 40 other crimes, including false statements, forgery, impersonating a public officer and soliciting public officers to violate their oaths.

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10
It is remarkable to see Mr. Giuliani charged under a state version of the federal racketeering act commonly referred to as RICO. As the U.S. attorney in Manhattan in the 1980s, Mr. Giuliani helped make the RICO charge famous, using it as a tool in his successful prosecution of New York’s organized crime families.

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The sprawling nature of the case was made clear not only by the 19 named defendants, but also by the inclusion of 30 unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators.

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12
The claim that Mr. Trump’s allies were involved in a plan to unlawfully gain access to secure voting equipment and voter data is a new criminal allegation that the Justice Department’s indictment of Mr. Trump did not include.

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13
Prosecutors put together a racketeering indictment like this one by collecting individual actions known as “overt acts” that are meant to further the goal of the larger conspiracy. On its own, each overt act may or may not be a separate crime. But when they are all considered together, the overt acts can help prosecutors tell a detailed story of how many steps went into a complex crime.

14
The first so-called predicate act of the indictment came on Election Day itself when Mr. Trump gave a speech in which he “falsely declared victory.”

15
Along with being the second named defendant, Mr. Giuliani is the second person listed in the overt acts section of the indictment, which describes statements he made about fraud being committed in Fulton County.

16
These lawyers styled themselves as an “elite strike force” as they tried to fight the results of the 2020 election.

17
This was the infamous event at which Mr. Giuliani’s hair dye ran down his face and where he and Sidney Powell promoted the conspiracy theory that Dominion voting machines had been hacked to help Mr. Trump win the election.

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18
Using Georgia’s expansive RICO law, Ms. Willis did not have to show that all of the acts in furtherance of the conspiracy took place in her jurisdiction. Rather, if you were part of a plan to overthrow the Georgia election, and you never even set foot in Georgia — or, specifically, Fulton County, where Ms. Willis, as district attorney, has jurisdiction — you could be charged. Prosecutors in the state pursued evidence of a conspiracy in several other states.

19
The indictment lists Mr. Trump and other defendants as members of a criminal organization, and one of that organization’s acts is making false statements to legislators both in Georgia and elsewhere. That’s one reason the overt acts include items like this one, in which Mr. Meadows seeks out a telephone number for the leader of the Pennsylvania legislature.

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20
The next two overt acts explicitly include some of the other criminal charges against Mr. Giuliani. In this one he is accused of soliciting public officials to violate their oaths of office; in the next, of making false statements and representations. Overall, Mr. Giuliani is charged with 13 counts — the only other person charged with that many is Mr. Trump.

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21
The inclusion in the indictment of multiple tweets by Mr. Trump suggests the expansive nature of the racketeering charges. It would be difficult to prove that each tweet was a criminal act on its own, but prosecutors are suggesting that each one was part of the larger conspiracy to obstruct the election.

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22
This indictment paints a much more detailed picture of John Eastman’s activities than the federal election indictment of Mr. Trump did — it mentioned Mr. Eastman only as Co-Conspirator 2. Here, Mr. Eastman is accused of pressuring state lawmakers to overturn the election and of directly emailing them with appeals to create fake electors pledged to Mr. Trump in states he had lost.

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23
This page exemplifies the way in which Mr. Giuliani served as a hub in the wheel of the alleged conspiracy, and certainly in the effort to overturn the results of the election. In three different overt acts relating to the election results in two states, Mr. Giuliani is described receiving emails or making a telephone call to try to turn things around for his client, Mr. Trump.

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24
While the indictment’s reference to Mr. Trump and Mr. Eastman seeking to enlist the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, in their scheme to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors first emerged in the work of the House select committee that investigated Jan. 6, it still is a big deal. It directly implicates both the former president and the Republican establishment in the plan to falsify slates of electors to the Electoral College.

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25
In retrospect, this proves to have been a particularly bad day for Mr. Giuliani. For the false statements he made at the meeting described below, he would eventually be sued for defamation by the two election workers he accused of wrongdoing, referred to as Co-Conspirator 1 in the federal indictment of Mr. Trump over his efforts to overturn the election and, finally, accused of criminal wrongdoing by Ms. Willis.

26
Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, a mother-and-daughter team who served as election workers for the Fulton County board of elections, have sued Mr. Giuliani for defamation after he made these claims about them. Mr. Giuliani recently conceded that his statements that the women had taken part in an effort to illegally flip votes were false.

27
Mr. Giuliani’s offensive remarks were highlighted by the House Jan. 6 committee in a public hearing watched by millions. Ms. Moss testified that contrary to Mr. Giuliani’s claims, the object being passed was a “ginger mint.”

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28
The indictment lays out in great detail how that false electors plan was run centrally by members of the Trump campaign and affiliated lawyers.

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29
This is at least the second reference to Mr. Giuliani seeking to limit any widespread knowledge of the fact that slates of electors had been convened to cast votes for Mr. Trump.

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30
The granular detail in the indictment is extraordinary. Prosecutors have included multiple emails and other forms of communications among members of the racketeering conspiracy that on their own would almost seem innocuous.

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31
This indictment cites the story of the bizarre meeting on Dec. 18, 2020, in the Oval Office, at which outside advisers to Mr. Trump, like the lawyer Sidney Powell, sought to convince the former president of a plan to use the military to seize voting machines around the country and re-run parts of the election. While the episode was one of the most infamous events in the chaotic post-election period, it did not appear in the special counsel’s election interference indictment of Mr. Trump.

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32
Mr. Bowers ultimately testified to congressional investigators about the price he paid for rebuffing Mr. Trump’s attempts to strong-arm him into throwing the election his way. Mr. Bowers told the panel that he was the target of threats and protests as his daughter was dying, and he described how his office was inundated by over 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voice mail messages and texts that made it impossible for him and his staff to communicate.

33
Several of the people believed to be unnamed co-conspirators in the federal election interference indictment of Mr. Trump are named and charged in the Georgia case, including Mr. Clark.

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34
As part of a lawsuit filed in Georgia challenging the vote result in that state, Mr. Trump signed a document swearing that all of the information in the suit was accurate even though his own lawyers had told him it was false.

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35
This is the infamous phone call in which Mr. Trump told Mr. Raffensperger that he needed to “find” about 12,000 votes to win the election in Georgia. Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s White House chief of staff, was also on the line.

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36
This page signals the arrival of one of the more outlandish characters included in the indictment. Trevian Kutti was a former publicist to R. Kelly and Kanye West who became involved in seeking to pressure one of the Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman, into cooperating with the false claims of voter fraud. Ms. Kutti’s acts are described over the next several pages of the indictment.

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37
Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence is a key element of both the federal election interference case against Mr. Trump and the Georgia case.

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38
One of the unique plots charged in this indictment is a scheme to breach voting machines in Coffee County, Ga., in an apparent effort to gain access to the machine’s software code. The plotters, including the pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, apparently thought obtaining the code could help them prove that the machines had been used in a conspiracy to flip votes away from Mr. Trump to President Biden.

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39
Four Trump lawyers, including Mr. Giuliani, were charged with soliciting public officers, specifically a number of Georgia lawmakers, to violate their oaths. This charge pertains to the effort by the Trump team to put forward a fake slate of electors.

40
Mr. Giuliani was also charged with lying to a Georgia Senate subcommittee about what he claimed were examples of voter fraud in Georgia. It is a crime to make false statements to public officials.

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41
Mr. Trump was charged with soliciting a public official to violate his oath, a charge that relates to a December 2020 phone call he placed to David Ralston, then the speaker of the Georgia House. Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Ralston, who died last year, to call lawmakers back into session to support the fake slate of electors. But Mr. Ralston rebuffed Mr. Trump.

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42
At this point, the indictment drills down on one of Mr. Giuliani’s most outlandish performances, a December 2020 appearance before Georgia lawmakers during which he made a host of false claims. He played a video, for example, that he claimed showed election workers stealing votes and accused two workers of passing a suspicious USB drive between them “like vials of heroin or cocaine.” Investigators later determined that they were passing a mint; Mr. Giuliani recently admitted in a civil suit that he had made false statements about the two women.

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43
This count centers on some of the so-called fake electors, who were charged with impersonating a public officer. Those charged include David Shafer, the former chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, who was said to have presided over the meeting of the fake electors.

44
Of course, according to the indictment, the fake electors did not act alone. Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Eastman and others were charged with conspiring to “cause” the fake electors to hold themselves out as the real ones.

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45
Mr. Shafer and two others were also charged with forgery for drafting a bogus document claiming they were in fact the legitimate electors. The document, titled “certificate of the votes of the 2020 electors,” also underpinned a charge against Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and others for conspiring to commit forgery, as well as a separate charge for conspiring to commit false statements. The certificate is referred to in several counts of the indictment.

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