Trump crimes continued 'nearly eight months after' he left office, indictment reveals: analysis

Trump crimes continued 'nearly eight months after' he left office, indictment reveals: analysis
President Donald Trump pauses during the 9/11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2017. During the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, 184 people were killed at the Pentagon. To the left is first lady Melania Trump, and to the right are Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. (DOD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)
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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday unveiled 13 charges against former President Donald Trump related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in Georgia. The 41-count indictment, which implicates 19 defendants in a Georgia racketeering charge, “brings the total number of criminal charges this year against” Trump to 91, the Washington Post reports.

In an analysis published Tuesday by the Washington Post, reporter Aaron Blake details 4 revelations from the Trump Georgia indictment — including that the alleged crimes “went well past” the events of Jan. 6, 2020.

“One of the more striking details comes in the 38th and 39th counts — the last charges against Trump — which date to Sept. 17, 2021, nearly eight months after Trump left office,” Blake writes, noting the charge “has to do with a letter Trump sent to [Georgia Secretary of State Brad] Raffensperger in which he enclosed a report alleging that 43,000 ballots in Atlanta-based DeKalb County were not properly handled using chain-of-custody rules.”

In that letter, the Washington Post reports, “Trump suggested that Raffensperger ‘start the process of decertifying the election, or whatever the correct legal remedy is, and announce the true winner.’”

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For prosecutors, that action amounts to the crime of Trump and others “corruptly [soliciting] Georgia officials … to violate their oaths to the Georgia Constitution and to the United States Constitution by unlawfully changing the outcome of the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia in favor of Donald Trump,” according to the indictment.

Blake also notes that the Georgia indictment differs from the 3 others brought against Trump because it includes the “Trump allies” his crimes “ensnared.”

“[Special counsel Jack] Smith opted this month to bring a case against Trump alone while listing six unnamed (but mostly easily identifiable) associates as unindicted co-conspirators," Blake writes. "Willis has gone in a different direction, also indicting 18 others she says took part in the criminal enterprise.”

According to Blake, Trump’s floated defense in Smith’s case appears to be that “he was merely exercising free speech.” But those “free speech” claims “won’t work as easily in Georgia,” Blake writes, because the state “has a broad prohibition against making ‘a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation … in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government.’”

READ: Ex-U.S. District Court clerk: 'Significant evidence' that fake electors knew 'Trump had definitely lost'

Finally, Blake notes that “unless the rules change,” Trump’s trial in Georgia — “unlike the federal trials” — “should be televised.”

“There remains the possibility,” Blake writes, “of Trump’s winning the 2024 election and facing this trial as a sitting president.”

Read the full analysis at the Washington Post.

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