Live updates: Trump indicted in Georgia election probe by Fulton County grand jury

Trump indicted in Georgia 2020 election subversion probe

20 min ago

Trump illegally solicited Georgia secretary of state to “alter” state’s election results, indictment alleges

From CNN’s Annie Grayer

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

The indictment charges former President Donald Trump with “unlawfully soliciting” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to violate his oath of office during their now-infamous January 2, 2021, call in which Trump asked Raffensperger to help him flip Georgia’s results in the 2020 election.

“So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state” Trump said to Raffensperger during the call.

Trump and his then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows – who was also on the call and charged in the indictment – are accused of unlawfully soliciting, requesting and importuning Raffensperger in his capacity as a public officer, according to the indictment.

Trump is also charged with knowingly making false statements to Raffensperger during that call.

The indictment lists 13 false statements Trump “knowingly, willfully and unlawfully” made on the January 2 call, including “that close to 5,000 dead people voted in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia.”

The indictment echoes an accusation made by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith in his earlier federal indictment of Trump, in which Smith’s office claimed Trump lied to Raffensperger during the call while trying to enlist the official’s support.

The indictment also cites a letter Trump wrote to Raffensperger months after leaving office, dated September 17, 2021 — in which Trump asked him to de-certify the 2020 election results — as another example of a knowingly-false statement Trump made to Georgia’s chief election officer.

 Raffensperger testified before the special grand jury in Fulton County in June 2022.

27 min ago

Trump is now facing 91 criminal charges in 4 criminal cases

From CNN’s Tierney Sneed

The indictment in Georgia against former President Donald Trump is photographed on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023.
The indictment in Georgia against former President Donald Trump is photographed on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. Rebecca Wright/CNN

Former President Donald Trump has been charged with 91 crimes in four criminal cases, in four different jurisdictions. 

The new indictment returned Monday by the Fulton County grand jury accuses Trump of 13 crimes. 

The Atlanta-based prosecution is one of four criminal cases Trump is facing – two federal, and two state cases. 

In the New York case brought by Manhattan prosecutors, Trump has been charged with 34 counts stemming from the alleged 2016 campaign hush money scheme.  

Trump faces 40 charges in special counsel Jack Smith’s Mar-a-Lago documents case, after a superseding indictment was unveiled last month. 

Smith’s separate federal election subversion case against Trump levied four criminal charges against the former president.

Overview of the cases

  • Manhattan prosecutors’ hush-money case: 34 counts against Trump
  • DOJ special counsel’s classified documents case: 40 counts against Trump
  • DOJ special counsel’s election subversion case: 4 counts against Trump
  • Atlanta prosecutors’ Georgia election meddling case: 13 counts against Trump
8 min ago

Intimidation of Georgia election worker is a key element of the Fulton County conspiracy case

From CNN’s Tierney Sneed

Fulton County prosecutors have built a key element of their racketeering conspiracy case on several defendants’ alleged efforts to “intimidate’ and “harass” Ruby Freeman, the former Georgia election worker whose emotional congressional testimony formed the basis of one of the House January 6 investigating committee’s most memorable hearings last summer.

Several defendants charged in the indictment’s RICO conspiracy count “falsely accused Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman of committing election crimes in Fulton County, Georgia,” the indictment reads.

“These false accusations were repeated to Georgia legislators and other Georgia officials in an effort to persuade them to unlawfully change the outcome of the November 3, 2020, presidential election in favor of Donald Trump,” the indictment read.
“In furtherance of this scheme, members of the enterprise traveled from out of state to harass Freeman, intimidate her, and solicit her to falsely confess to election crimes that she did not commit.”

Additionally, one of the false statement charges brought against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani stems from his December 2020 statement that Freeman, her daughter, fellow election worker Shaye Moss and another individual were “surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they’re vials of heroin or cocaine” while at a Georgia election site.

Moss testified to US lawmakers last summer that she was not being passed a USB drive, but rather her mother was passing her a ginger mint.

32 min ago

Lawmakers react to the Georgia election interference indictment

Rep. Elise Stefanik waits for an address by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on June 22, 2023 in Washington, DC. 
Rep. Elise Stefanik waits for an address by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on June 22, 2023 in Washington, DC.  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Reactions from Democratic and Republican lawmakers have rolled in since former President Donald Trump and 18 other defendants were indicted in Fulton County, Georgia, on Monday.

Here’s what some of the top lawmakers have had to say:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, both Democrats, said in a joint statement that the indictment “portrays a repeated pattern of criminal activity.”

“This latest indictment details how Mr. Trump led a months-long plot pushing the Big Lie to steal an election, undermine our democracy, and overturn the will of the people of Georgia. 
The actions taken by the Fulton County District Attorney, along with other state and federal prosecutors, reaffirms the shared belief that in America no one, not even the president, is above the law,” the Democrats’ statement said.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said President Joe Biden has “weaponized government” against Trump.

“Justice should be blind, but Biden has weaponized government against his leading political opponent to interfere in the 2024 election. Now a radical DA in Georgia is following Biden’s lead by attacking President Trump and using it to fundraise her political career. Americans see through this desperate sham,” McCarthy tweeted.

Republican Congressman Jim Jordan the House Judiciary Committee chairman and a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill — defended Trump in a tweet Monday night.

Today’s indictment is just the latest political attack in the Democrats’ WITCH HUNT against President Trump. He did nothing wrong!,” Jordan tweeted.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik slammed the indictment moments after it was unsealed.

“This is another rogue Far Left radical District Attorney weaponizing their office to target Joe Biden’s top political opponent President Trump,” Stefanik said. “This blatant election interference by the Far Left will not work, President Trump will defeat these bogus charges and win back the White House in 2024.”

CNN’s Lauren Fox, Alayna Treene and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.

43 min ago

Giuliani faces 13 charges, more than any other defendant except Trump

From CNN’s Jeremy Herb

Rudy Giuliani walks to a senate hearing at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Thursday, December 3, 2020.
Rudy Giuliani walks to a senate hearing at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Thursday, December 3, 2020. Rebecca Wright/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani is in the middle of many of the episodes that form the basis of the sweeping indictment against the former president and 18 other defendants unsealed on Monday.

Giuliani is charged with 13 counts in the indictment, more than any other defendant other than Trump, who also faces 13 charges.

Giuliani is charged with a RICO violation — the racketeering conspiracy that formed the basis of the indictment — as well as several additional felonies, including soliciting Georgia state lawmakers, making false statements to the Georgia House and Senate and the effort to put forward fake electors in Georgia.

Giuliani was also listed as a co-conspirator in special counsel Jack Smith’s federal indictment of Trump for efforts to overturn the 2020 election. 

The Fulton County indictment points to Giuliani’s testimony in Georgia after the 2020 election, in which he made false claims about election fraud in Georgia. Prosecutors also list Giuliani’s outreach to officials in other states, including lawmakers in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, where they allege he made more false claims of election fraud and tried to solicit them to appoint fake electors.

Among the calls cited were to Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a key witness in the January 6 hearings. 

“During the telephone call, RUDOLPH WILLIAM LOUIS GIULIANI made false statements concerning fraud in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Arizona and solicited, requested, and importuned Bowers to unlawfully appoint presidential electors from Arizona,” the indictment states. 

51 min ago

Indictment zeroes in on Trump supporters who breached voting system in Coffee County, Georgia

From CNN’s Zachary Cohen in Atlanta 

Sidney Powell, Misty Hampton, Cathy Latham, and Scott Hall.
Sidney Powell, Misty Hampton, Cathy Latham, and Scott Hall.

Several of former President Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the Fulton County indictment are facing charges in connection with the breach of a voting system in a rural Georgia county that took place after the 2020 election.  

CNN has previously reported that multiple of the newly-indicted co-defendants helped orchestrate and carry out the breach in Coffee County. 

 The indictment alleged that several Trump allies committed specific crimes related to their involvement in the Coffee County breach, as well as allegedly lying about their roles. Those charges include computer trespassing, perjury, conspiracy to commit election fraud and conspiracy to commit computer theft, the indictment states. 

The people charged in connection with the Coffee County breach are:

  • Sidney Powell, a former Trump attorney
  • Misty Hampton, a former elections supervisor for Coffee County
  • Cathy Latham, a former local GOP official in Coffee County
  • Scott Hall, a pro-Trump poll watcher and bail bondsman in Georgia

The indictment echoes previous CNN reporting about Powell’s alleged role in the breach, including that she contracted a cyber-forensics firm to examine and copy voting systems in Coffee County without the proper authorization to do so.

Latham and Hampton both face charges for allegedly helping facilitate the breach, according to the indictment. Latham also faces perjury charges for lying about her involvement in the Coffee County breach during a deposition conducted as part of a long-running civil lawsuit related to election security in Georgia.

Hall’s role in the breach was similarly exposed during that civil lawsuit, initially by a phone recording where he acknowledges his involvement. 

The civil lawsuit, brought several years ago against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger by a coalition of election security advocates, is cited throughout the indictment as a key source of evidence prosecutors used to bring criminal charges against those Trump allies involved. 

CNN has previously reported that surveillance video, text messages and other communications unearthed during this civil case provided essential evidence for prosecutors investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. 

As recently as Sunday, CNN reported that Atlanta-area prosecutors investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia were in possession of text messages and emails directly connecting members of Trump’s legal team to the early January 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County.

58 min ago

Trump attorneys describe grand jury presentation as “shocking and absurd”

From CNN’s Sara Murray and Brian Rokus

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump released a statement calling the grand jury presentation “one sided” and Monday’s events “shocking and absurd.”

“We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been,” Trump attorneys Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg wrote in the statement.

Full statement below:

“The events that have unfolded today have been shocking and absurd, starting with the leak of a presumed and premature indictment before the witnesses had testified or the grand jurors had deliberated and ending with the District Attorney being unable to offer any explanation. In light of this major fumble, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office clearly decided to force through and rush this 98-page indictment. This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests— some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result.”

1 hr 10 min ago

Beyond Trump, Mark Meadows is the highest-ranking White House official charged in the indictment

From CNN’s Jeremy Herb

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the press in Statuary Hall at the Capitol on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. 
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the press in Statuary Hall at the Capitol on August 22, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was among the defendants indicted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Monday for their role in helping former President Donald Trump try to overturn the 2020 election. 

Beyond Trump himself, Meadows is the highest-ranking White House official to be charged in the Georgia indictment.

Meadows was notably absent among the six Trump co-conspirators named in an earlier indictment stemming from special counsel Jack Smith’s election interference probe. 

The former chief of staff was ordered by a South Carolina judge to testify before the Georgia special grand jury. But a juror said earlier this year that Meadows declined to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination as well as other privileges.

Meadows did testify to the special counsel grand jury in Washington.

Prosecutors allege Meadows furthered the conspiracy to try to overturn the 2020 election.

Meadows — like all 19 defendants — is charged in the indictment with a violation of Georgia’s RICO law. Meadows is also charged with solicitation of the violation of oath of office by a public officer over Trump’s January 2, 2021, phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, when Trump asked him to “find” the votes he needed to win Georgia. Meadows was one of the White House officials on the call. 

The indictment also describes Meadows’ attempt to enter into the space in Cobb County, Georgia, where 2020 election signatures were being audited, as well as a text message Meadows sent to the Georgia secretary of state’s chief investigator that stated, “Is there a way to speed up Fulton county signature verification in order to have results before Jan 6 if the trump campaign assist financially.” 

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Meadows for comment.

1 hr 19 min ago

Fulton County district attorney says her office will propose Trump election trial to happen within the next 6 months

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis enteres a room in the Fulton County Government Center ahead of a news conference, Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis enteres a room in the Fulton County Government Center ahead of a news conference, Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, in Atlanta. John Bazemore/AP

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told reporters that it will be up to a judge to set the date of the trial in the Georgia 2020 election interference case.

“This office will be submitting a proposed scheduling order within this week. However, that will totally be at the discretion of the judge,” Willis said.

She said they wanted to “move this case along” and will propose a trial date within the next six months. She said she did not have a desire that Georgia be the first or last trial that former President Donald Trump faces.

“I want to try him and be respectful of our sovereign states. We do want to move this case along, and so we will be asking for a proposed order that occurs, a trial date within the next six months,” she told reporters.

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