ATLANTA (CN) — A grand jury in Georgia indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 of his associates Monday night on charges related to interference in the state’s 2020 presidential election results.
In an indictment handed up by a Fulton County Grand jury shortly after 9 p.m., Trump is charged with racketeering and a dozen other felonies, including solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree and false statements and writings.
Monday’s indictment is Trump’s fourth since March, when he became the first former or sitting U.S. president to be criminally charged.
The 98-page charging document contains 41 criminal counts against Trump, his former personal attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer.
The indictment also brings charges against: former assistant U.S. attorney general Jeffrey Clark; attorneys John Eastman, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Bob Cheeley, Ray Smith III and Kenneth Chesebro; GOP strategist Michael Roman; state Senator Shawn Still; former Coffee County elections supervisor Misty Hampton; former Coffee County GOP chairwoman Cathy Latham; Atlanta bail bondsman Scott Hall; publicist Trevian Kutti; Illinois pastor Stephen Cliffguard Lee; and former Black Voices for Trump Director Harrison Floyd.
All 19 defendants are accused of racketeering.
“Defendant Donald John Trump lost the United States presidential election held on November 3, 2020. One of the states he lost was Georgia,” the indictment states.
“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," it continues. "That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the State of Georgia, and in other states.”
It adds that these “enterprise” members made false statements to state legislators during hearings and meetings in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania after the 2020 election to “persuade legislators in those states to unlawfully appoint their own presidential electors.”
The grand jury returned their decisions to the Fulton County Superior Court Judge overseeing the case, Robert McBurney, shortly after 9 p.m. Monday.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, first launched the investigation into Trump over two years ago into possible “multistate, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.” The move came shortly after the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which then-President Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's victory in that state.
"The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result," Willis said during a press conference Monday night.
The grand jury issued arrest warrants, and the defendants have until noon on Friday, Aug. 25, to voluntarily surrender, Willis said. She said she’s aiming for a trial date to be within the next six months and intends to try all 19 defendants together.
Willis noted that everyone charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
In December 2020, Trump and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows requested that one of his former aides prepare a strategy for disrupting and delaying the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to the indictment. Meadows is also accused of arranging a phone call between Trump and a chief investigator in the Georgia secretary of state’s office in which Trump pressed her to act on his unsubstantiated claims of fraud in furtherance of the alleged criminal conspiracy.