Former President Donald Trump indicted in Georgia 2020 election probe


Former President Donald Trump was indicted on Tuesday by the Georgia grand jury in connection with the efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State.

The charges, brought late on Monday by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charge Trump, the frontrunner in the race for the 2024 Republican nomination and 18 associates for a scheme intended to reverse his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

ALSO READ: indica’s coverage of Donald Trump’s three previous indictments in 2023

It reported, the charge against the former president includes violation of the Peach State’s anti-racketeering law, conspiracy, false statements, and asking a public official to violate their oath of office.

All 19 defendants are charged with Georgia’s equivalent of the federal RICO statute, which can be used against any group of individuals deemed to use criminal means to attain an objective. The acronym refers to the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

“[The] Defendants … unindicted co-conspirators … and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in … false statements and writings, impersonating a public officer, forgery, filing false documents, influencing witnesses, computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the state, acts involving theft, and perjury,” the 98-page indictment read.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who launched the investigation into Trump and his associates nearly two years ago, told reporters at a late-night press conference that she intended to try all 19 defendants together and that they would be given less than two weeks to turn themselves in.

“I am giving the defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday the 25th day of August 2023,” Willis said.

Hoping to move quickly, Willis added that her office will be seeking to take the case to trial “within the next six months.”

If approved by a judge, that would make Georgia the first jurisdiction and Willis the first prosecutor to put a former American president on trial.

Under the federal RICO Act, a person who has committed “at least two acts of racketeering activity” drawn from a list of 35 crimes (27 federal crimes and eight state crimes) within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an “enterprise.”

Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.”

A US Attorney who decides to indict someone under RICO has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant’s assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property and to require the defendant to put up a performance bond. That provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict.

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