A Georgia grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump this week on charges of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by pressuring state election officials.
The indictment is based on a phone call that Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021. In the phone call, Trump repeatedly asked Raffensperger to find some votes that would give Trump a victory in the state.
Trump’s defenders have argued that he was not asking Raffensperger to commit fraud but was simply expressing his belief that there had been widespread voter fraud in Georgia. However, the transcript of the call shows that Trump repeatedly made false claims about the election and pressured Raffensperger to take action to change the results.
For example, Trump told Raffensperger that “illegal votes” had been cast and that he had won the state. He also asked Raffensperger to “recalculate” the votes and “find” 11,780 votes, which he needed to win the state.
The grand jury decided Trump’s actions in the phone call constituted a crime. Trump could face conspiracy charges to commit election fraud, solicitation of election fraud, and racketeering.
Trump has vowed to fight the charges and has denied any wrongdoing. He has also accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of being politically motivated.
The indictment of Trump would be a significant development in the ongoing investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. It would also considerably test the Justice Department’s willingness to prosecute former presidents.
The indictment is likely based on multiple pieces of evidence, including the phone call with Raffensperger and other communications between Trump and his allies.
The indictment could also charge Trump with other crimes, such as obstruction of justice or witness tampering.
Trump could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges.
The indictment is likely to be controversial, and Trump’s supporters are potential to accuse the Justice Department of being biased against him.