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Trump Faces RICO Charges in Georgia

Former president faces 91 total charges across indictments in Florida, Georgia, New York, and Washington D.C.

As of mid-August, Donald J. Trump has officially been indicted for the fourth time in 2023. Of the 91 charges he faces across all cases, his most recent includes 13, which generally outline his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. The most serious charge against Trump, and the 18 co-defendants, relates to Georgia’s anti-racketeering laws which aim to stop groups of people from committing complex schemes of crime. In this case, the complex schemes of crimes are 161 unique acts claimed to be part of a conspiracy to alter election results. It has been widely debated whether he is guilty or if these accusations are solely to take him out of running for the 2024 election.

Of the 13 charges Trump faces in Georgia, there are three counts of solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, or trying to get a public officer to violate their oath. There are eight counts relating to making false statements, writing false documents, and conspiracy to commit forgery, and one count respectively of conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, namely, Georgia’s presidential electors, and the violation of anti-racketeering laws. Multiple of these charges have mandatory minimum sentences, meaning if Trump is convicted, he could be forced to serve jail time. This is a first for any of the other indictments he is facing in Florida, New York, and Washington D.C.

In the most recent case, Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Fani Willis alleges Trump urged Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to alter election results in his favor. On a recorded call, he told Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to win Georgia, and in a letter urged him to decertify election results and announce the “true winner.” Trump maintains  he did nothing wrong during the call, referring to it as “absolutely perfect.” Trump also told acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who represents the federal government in legal matters, to “just say the election was corrupt, and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”

On August 24, 2023, Trump surrendered himself at Georgia’s Fulton County Jail. After securing a $200,000 bond, as well as having his mugshot and fingerprints taken, he was released. This marks the fourth time Trump has surrendered in 2023, but the first time he has been required to take a mugshot. 

Due to the complex nature of a racketeering charge, a court case before the 2024 election seems unlikely, although still possible. Georgia’s district attorney had asked for the trial to take place in October of this year, though Trump’s attorneys opposed the date. The October 23 date was only accepted for defendants who requested a speedy trial. On September 14th, the judge overseeing the Georgia case severed the cases of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, who requested a speedy trial, from the other defendants in the case, including Trump. This means Chesebro and Powell will be tried separately from the others, even though they will all be tried for the same crimes.

Trump’s support for the 2024 election seems unaffected by this most recent case. If he does receive enough votes to win, he could still become president and receive the associated powers. However, because Georgia is a state case, Trump would have little authority to pardon or dismiss a conviction. There is a possibility of him being convicted and elected, in which case he may have to serve his presidency and jail time simultaneously. These are uncharted territories, and many ideas are still speculation. For now, the only thing known for sure is that Trump has yet again been indicted, this time for trying to overturn election results, and will eventually be tried for his alleged crimes.

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