Ex-President Has 10 Days to Surrender for Arraignment

Richard FaussetDanny Hakim

Here are the latest developments in the indictment.

Former President Donald J. Trump has 10 days to turn himself in to face accusations that he and 18 other people orchestrated a “criminal enterprise” to reverse the results of the 2020 election in Georgia and subvert the will of voters — sweeping charges by a local prosecutor that invoked a law associated with taking down mobsters.

The 41-count indictment also brings charges against some of Mr. Trump’s most prominent advisers, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, his former personal lawyer, and Mark Meadows, who served as White House chief of staff at the time of the election.

All 19 defendants — a wide-ranging group that includes a former senior Justice Department official, the former chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and lawyers who were part of the “elite strike force team” who amplified Mr. Trump’s claims — were charged under the state’s racketeering statute, which was originally designed to dismantle organized crime groups.

Mr. Trump and the other defendants, prosecutors wrote, “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.”

Mr. Trump, who is currently leading in polls among the Republican candidates for president in 2024, has now been indicted in four separate criminal investigations since April, including a federal indictment earlier this month over his attempts to cling to power after losing the 2020 race.

The prosecutor bringing the Georgia case, District Attorney Fani T. Willis of Fulton County, said she would be seeking a trial date within the next six months — timing that would only add to Mr. Trump’s complicated legal calendar and raise the prospect that he could face four criminal trials in the midst of his campaign to regain the presidency.

Here’s what to know:

  • The indictment laid out eight ways the defendants were accused of obstructing the election, including by lying to the Georgia state legislature, creating fake pro-Trump electors, and soliciting Vice President Mike Pence. Read the annotated indictment.

  • The indictment spells out 161 separate actions that prosecutors say the defendants took to further a criminal conspiracy, including events like Mr. Giuliani’s false testimony about election fraud to Georgia lawmakers in early December and Mr. Trump’s telephone call to the Georgia secretary of state in early January urging him to “find 11,780 votes.” Read about the 19 defendants and the charges they face.

  • The case has been assigned to Judge Scott F. McAfee, who has been on the bench for only a few months after leading the state’s Office of the Inspector General. He previously worked under Ms. Willis in the district attorney’s office, when she led its complex trial division.

  • The prosecutor who will take a lead role in the case, Nathan J. Wade, appears to have limited experience trying high-profile cases. Mr. Wade, who was hired last year to handle the Trump case, is a veteran Atlanta-area personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.

  • Mr. Trump continued to denounce the indictment on Tuesday, saying in a post on his social media platform that he would hold a news conference next Monday and release an “Irrefutable” report that would somehow prove his false claims of election fraud in Georgia.

James C. McKinley Jr.

Aug. 15, 2023, 6:49 p.m. ET

Georgia’s policy of publishing grand juror names is rare among state court systems.

Image

The Lewis R. Slaton Courthouse on Tuesday. While Georgia State law requires indictments to list the grand jurors in the name of transparency, court proceedings are secret.Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

One page in the racketeering indictment against former President Donald J. Trump and 18 others caught the attention of lawyers across the United States. It was a list of all the grand jurors who had voted to approve the charges in Georgia.

Grand jury proceedings are secret in most states and the federal system. While procedures vary from state to state, and a grand jury foreman often must sign an indictment, in most jurisdictions the identities of the other jurors are not made public on the charging document.

Georgia is an outlier. State law requires indictments to list the grand jurors in the name of transparency, and defense lawyers in the state routinely check the backgrounds of grand jurors, searching for any grounds to challenge the indictment.

“They will look at these names and do a check to make sure they are qualified or competent to be on the grand jury,” said Michael Mears, a law professor at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. “Good defense lawyers will do that.”

Jon Gould, a lawyer and criminologist who is the dean of the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, said Georgia’s rule is fairly unusual. And it opens up the jurors, he said, to the possibility they could be harassed for their decisions, especially in cases involving gangs and organized crime.

Mr. Trump has lashed out at prosecutors, judges and private citizens who have sued him, accusing them of having political motives, and his supporters have been known to harass his perceived enemies.

Diane Peress, a former state and federal prosecutor who teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said prosecutors in New York State and the federal system take pains to keep the names of grand jurors out of the indictment or any other public record. For instance, jurors are usually referred to only by number during grand jury proceedings in New York State.

“We did everything we could to protect the grand jury and their identities,” said Ms. Peress, who has years of experience prosecuting cases in federal court in Manhattan and state court in Queens.

She said identifying grand jurors exposes them to harassment or even physical danger in many cases, especially racketeering investigations. “I think it’s a terrible practice,” she said.

Still, there are ways in which Georgia’s procedures are more secretive than New York, the other state jurisdiction where Mr. Trump has been charged. New York keeps a record of grand jury proceedings and testimony that are turned over to the defense and can be used at trial.

Georgia’s proceedings are secret. There is no record kept or transcript made, Mr. Mears said, making it extremely difficult to challenge the jury’s decision.



22 counts

Related to forgery or false documents and statements

8 counts

Related to soliciting or impersonating public officers

3 counts

Related to influencing witnesses

3 counts

Related to election fraud or defrauding the state

3 counts

Related to computer tampering

1 count

Related to racketeering

1 count

Related to perjury

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Daniel Victor

Aug. 15, 2023, 6:28 p.m. ET

The Georgia case could be the only one against Trump with cameras in the courtroom.

Image

A reporter watching a live feed as Judge Robert C.I. McBurney speaks to the County clerk, Ché Alexander, at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, on Monday.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

No television cameras or still photographers captured the first three arraignments of former President Donald J. Trump in Manhattan, Washington and Miami. And that will likely continue when those cases go to trial over the next year or so.

But in Georgia, where Mr. Trump and 18 co-defendants were indicted on Monday, state courts typically permit cameras in the courtroom. That means the sprawling conspiracy case could present the best opportunity for the public to watch the legal proceedings unfold.

“I would expect it, absolutely,” said David E. Hudson, general counsel for the Georgia Press Association. In 40 years of representing the state’s news media, he could not recall one trial that had been closed to cameras, he said.

The judge in the Georgia case, Scott F. McAfee, who was randomly assigned after the indictment was handed up on Monday, has not weighed in on court procedures. But the presumption is in favor of openness.

“Open courtrooms are an indispensable element of an effective and respected judicial system,” states a 2018 order regarding Georgia’s law on recording devices in courtrooms. “It is the policy of Georgia’s courts to promote access to and understanding of court proceedings, not only by the participants in them, but also by the general public and by news media who will report on the proceedings to the public.”

In Georgia, members of the news media must apply to record the proceedings, but most applications are approved, Mr. Hudson said. There may be restrictions, including on photographing the jury or requiring a pool system to avoid overcrowded courtrooms. But even the highest-profile cases have been open, he said.

That stands in contrast to what is expected in the two federal cases against Mr. Trump in Miami and Washington. Federal courts generally do not permit cameras.

It has yet to be determined whether the court in the Manhattan case, related to hush-money payments, will allow cameras, but trials in the New York state court system are not typically broadcast. In the past, the judge in the Manhattan case, Juan M. Merchan, has been reluctant to permit video of proceedings that have involved Mr. Trump.

In the rare occasion that a Georgia judge seeks to close down a courtroom, he or she must offer evidence in a hearing, explaining why recording should be prohibited to protect specific interests, said Derek Bauer, who is head of media litigation at the BakerHostetler law firm and the general counsel of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

In practice, closing a courtroom is rarely sought, he said, and state appellate courts have frequently reversed trial court decisions when it has happened.

He also said he did not expect the Trump trial to be closed. “We recognize the importance of open courtroom proceedings in the state of Georgia, particularly in connection with criminal proceedings,” he said.

Sheera Frenkel

Aug. 15, 2023, 6:01 p.m. ET

On far-right social media, the support for Trump has only swelled.

Image

Support for former President Donald J. Trump remains high on far-right social media, including on Truth Social, the site owned by Mr. Trump.Credit…Jon Cherry for The New York Times

On far-right social media sites, supporters of former President Donald J. Trump doubled down Tuesday on defending him against his indictment by an Atlanta grand jury in a sweeping racketeering case.

On Truth Social, the far-right social media site owned by Mr. Trump, over 20,000 accounts liked a message Mr. Trump posted on Tuesday accusing prosecutors in Georgia of a witch hunt, after a lengthy investigation brought charges against him and some of his key advisers on Monday for their efforts in the state to reverse the results of the 2020 election.

More than 37,000 accounts liked a post in which Mr. Trump promised he would be exonerated, and thousands shared the post on their own accounts. Truth Social didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

The numbers were unusually high for Mr. Trump, who posts on the site daily and typically sees numbers closer to 10,000 people liking his posts.

On other social media sites popular with the far right, including Parler and Gab, misinformation circulated about Mr. Trump secretly plotting to imprison those in Georgia seeking his indictment. There were also false claims that Democratic Party officials in Georgia had already been arrested, and were facing indictments themselves over their investigation into Mr. Trump.

Misinformation experts who study social media said the trending topics on those sites showed how siloed far-right social media has become in recent years.

“With every indictment his supporters are digging their heels in further, and we see that especially on far-right sites,” said Kayla Gogarty, research director at Media Matters, a nonprofit which monitors conservative media. “Far-right media sites have their own kind of echo chamber in which they push the same talking points and narratives to amp each other up.”

While Mr. Trump sets the tone at Truth Social, Ms. Gogarty said, other far-right sites have formed similar silos.

“We are seeing his supporters saying they are going to stick with him,” Ms. Gogarty said.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Aug. 15, 2023, 5:59 p.m. ET

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Reporting from Atlanta

Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff to Donald J. Trump who faces two charges in the indictment in Atlanta, is seeking to have his case moved to federal court, arguing in part that the allegations involve conduct while he was acting in his White House role. Legal experts expect that Trump and others might make similar requests, in part because the jury pool might be more sympathetic and because it would be more likely that the U.S. Supreme Court could eventually weigh in.

Image

Credit…Alexander Drago/Reuters

Benjamin Protess

Aug. 15, 2023, 5:59 p.m. ET

Benjamin Protess

An Obama appointee, Judge Steve C. Jones, will handle Meadows’s request. The decision of whether to allow him and some other defendants to remove their cases to federal court will likely come down to whether the conduct was within the scope of their governmental duties. Prosecutors will likely argue that their efforts to keep Trump in power were campaign related, and not within the scope of their duties as federal officials.

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 5:11 p.m. ET

Trump’s 2024 rivals trot out well-worn responses to the latest indictment.

Image

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida at the Iowa State Fair on Friday. Mr. DeSantis has called the indictments of former President Donald J. Trump a “criminalization of politics.”Credit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

A certain sameness has settled over the rest of the 2024 Republican field when it comes to the indictments piling up against former President Donald J. Trump.

“I think it’s an example of this criminalization of politics,” Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said on Tuesday, one day after Mr. Trump’s fourth indictment was handed down, this time in Georgia, on charges he tried to overturn the 2020 election results there. It’s an echo of what Mr. DeSantis said last month as a federal indictment on the same subject approached (“an attempt to criminalize politics,” he said then).

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina called the Georgia case “the legal system being weaponized against political opponents.” Last month he called the looming federal indictment a “weaponization of the Department of Justice against political enemies,” and four and a half months ago he said the Manhattan district attorney who charged Mr. Trump in a hush-money case had “weaponized the law against political enemies.”

Mr. Trump’s critics, including former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and former Representative Will Hurd of Texas, were equally consistent, saying Mr. Trump’s actions after the 2020 election made him unfit for office. Several others didn’t weigh in at all — which was, in itself, a practiced strategy.

Only one candidate has so far said anything substantively new: former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Mr. Christie has been one of Mr. Trump’s sharpest critics among the Republican candidates, including after the federal indictment of Mr. Trump two weeks ago on very similar charges. But on Tuesday, Mr. Christie — who is also a former federal prosecutor — told Fox News that he was “uncomfortable” with the Georgia indictment because of its duplicative nature.

“I think that this conflict is essentially covered by the federal indictment — not with the level of detail that they cover in this, but that’s just a stylistic thing,” he said. “Election interference is election interference. It’s been charged by Jack Smith. And most of the time, what you’d see here would be a state court deferring to a federal prosecution, especially if that federal indictment had already been issued.”

If the Georgia prosecutor, Fani T. Willis, had charged only the Trump allies whom Mr. Smith, the special counsel, chose not to charge, “that would be a more defensible indictment,” Mr. Christie said, while adding that he did not think the decision had been partisan.

Aug. 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m. ET

Alan Feuer

A lawyer for John Eastman, once an adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, just said that Eastman intends to fight the charges against him. The indictment “sets out activity that is political, but not criminal,” the lawyer, Harvey Silverglate, said in a statement. “It goes hand-in-glove with the recent effort to criminalize lawful political speech and legal advice.”

Image

Credit…Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Aug. 15, 2023, 4:41 p.m. ET

The judge assigned to the Trump case once worked under Fani Willis.

Image

Judge Scott F. McAfee was appointed to his post in February, making him the least experienced judge on the Fulton County Superior Court.Credit…Superior Court of Fulton County

The landmark racketeering case in Atlanta against former President Donald J. Trump and others has been assigned to Scott F. McAfee, a recently appointed Fulton County Superior Court judge who was once supervised by the district attorney overseeing the case.

Judge McAfee, 34, rose quickly in Georgia’s legal world after graduating from law school a decade ago, and one of his first jobs was in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. There, he handled early stages of felony cases before being promoted to the complex trial division. The division was led at the time by Fani T. Willis, the prosecutor overseeing the Trump case, according to a former district attorney and another lawyer who worked in the office at the time.

Ms. Willis, who became the district attorney in 2021 after Judge McAfee had left the office, began a wide-ranging investigation of Mr. Trump and his allies regarding the 2020 election that culminated in a grand jury indictment on Monday night.

A spokeswoman for Ms. Willis’s office did not return requests for comment about Judge McAfee’s time with the office. A lawyer for Mr. Trump did not immediately return a request for comment on whether the former president might ask the judge, who was randomly assigned to the case, to recuse himself because of his past working relationship with the district attorney.

The fact that Mr. McAfee worked under Ms. Willis, a Democrat, might provide an opening for critics of the investigation, but Mr. McAfee also has conservative bona fides. While at the University of Georgia’s law school, he was the vice president of the Federalist Society, a conservative law group, and was the treasurer for the Law Republicans, which was described as serving “conservative, moderate and libertarian” law students, according to rosters of student group officers. He graduated in 2013.

While most judges are elected in Georgia, Judge McAfee was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, and sworn in on Feb. 1 to fill a vacancy on the bench. Mr. Kemp has clashed with Mr. Trump over the 2020 election results in Georgia and other issues, but has also sought to avoid getting dragged into Ms. Willis’s inquiry, even unsuccessfully trying to avoid testifying in the case.

Several lawyers who worked alongside and against Judge McAfee praised his intelligence and precision.

Charlie Bailey, a lawyer and former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said he and Judge McAfee both worked under Ms. Willis when she led the complex trial division, which prosecuted cases of domestic violence, assault and nonfatal shootings, among others. Mr. Bailey, whose wife currently works in Ms. Willis’s office, said that there were roughly 20 prosecutors in that division at the time.

“He’s a conscientious and thorough prosecutor, and fair,” Mr. Bailey said. “A lot like Fani, frankly, in terms of those qualities. I’m quite certain he’ll do a good job.”

Paul L. Howard Jr., who served as Fulton County district attorney from 1997 until Ms. Willis successfully ran against him, confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that Mr. McAfee worked in the complex trial division, and that Ms. Willis would have been his supervisor for some of that time.

Judge McAfee was eventually promoted to a senior assistant district attorney position and prosecuted murder cases as part of the major case division. In 2019, he was appointed to be an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta, and prosecuted cases that included allegations of bank fraud and drug trafficking. In one case, he won the conviction of a man who stole 900 laptops from a tractor-trailer.

In March 2021, Governor Kemp appointed Judge McAfee to lead the state’s Office of the Inspector General, a government watchdog that investigates cases of fraud, abuse and mismanagement. He held that job until he was made a judge.

Esther Panitch, a defense lawyer and Democratic state representative, said she had been on the other side of Judge McAfee twice when he was a federal prosecutor, and that she found him fair and kind.

“Not every prosecutor is like that,” Ms. Panitch said. “So I’m hopeful that he carries those qualities onto the bench.”

Judge McAfee is the newest of the 19 judges at the Fulton County Superior Court. He will handle the case against Mr. Trump as well as his 18 co-defendants, all of whom are accused of working together to illegally undo Mr. Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Ms. Willis said Monday that she intended to try all of the defendants together.

Richard Fausset and Danny Hakim contributed reporting.

Katie Robertson

Aug. 15, 2023, 4:26 p.m. ET

Katie Robertson

Media reporter

The Fulton County clerk’s office says that a document released on the court’s website yesterday — which described Donald Trump as charged hours before the grand jury’s vote to indict him and was reported on by Reuters — was actually a test run of the system using a “fictitious docket sheet” as a sample. “The office understands the confusion that this matter caused and the sensitivity of all court filings,” the clerk said in a news release.

Aug. 15, 2023, 3:50 p.m. ET

How did a publicist tied to Kanye West get caught up in the Georgia investigation?

Image

Surveillance footage from Cobb County Police Department shows Trevian Kutti, center, speaking with election worker Ruby Freeman, left.Credit…Cobb County Police Department, via Reuters

Many of the people who have been tangled up in the investigation into whether former President Donald J. Trump illegally meddled with the 2020 election in Georgia are familiar names in the world of federal politics. But another, Trevian Kutti, is better known for her work in the cannabis and entertainment industries, where she has been tied to Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

Ms. Kutti showed up at the home of a rank-and-file Fulton County election worker, Ruby Freeman, in January 2021, after conspiracy theories about Ms. Freeman improperly handling votes had spread online.

Ms. Kutti claimed to be working for “some of the biggest names in the industry,” and the two eventually met at a police station, where Ms. Kutti shared an ominous warning, claiming to Ms. Freeman that an event in the future would “disrupt your freedom.” She offered to help Ms. Freeman, but Ms. Freeman later told Reuters that Ms. Kutti had repeatedly tried to get her to say that she had committed voter fraud.

In addition to her work as a publicist, Ms. Kutti has also lobbied on behalf of cannabis companies in Illinois and operated a high-end fashion store. She has become an ardent supporter of Mr. Trump in recent years. Ye has met with Mr. Trump in the past and voiced his support for him.

Prosecutors have said Ms. Kutti’s meeting with Ms. Freeman was part of a plot to get her to falsely confess to election fraud, and court records show that a special grand jury has sought testimony from Ms. Kutti.

A spokesman for Ye has said that Ms. Kutti was not working for him at the time of her meeting with Ms. Freeman.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

James C. McKinley Jr.

Aug. 15, 2023, 3:24 p.m. ET

Georgia isn’t the only state where Trump contested results. What happened in the others?

Image

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Georgia was one of several states where Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 presidential election by clear margins, but refused to concede defeat, challenging the results in court and trying to thwart them through other means.

Across the country, Mr. Trump and his allies filed a barrage of about 60 lawsuits, some of them even before Election Day, questioning the handling, casting and counting of votes in at least eight states. Federal and state and judges threw out all but one of the suits, often with blistering rebukes of the pro-Trump lawyers.

The judges rejected a litany of unproven claims: that mail-in ballots had been improperly sent out, that absentee ballots had been counted wrongly, that poll observers had not been given proper access to the vote count, or that foreign powers had hacked into and manipulated voting machines.

After repeated failures in court, Mr. Trump and his team shifted to a strategy that involved try to send bogus slates of electors from seven states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — to the Electoral College. That tactic also failed.

Here is a look at Mr. Trump’s efforts in states other than Georgia during the crucial two months after the November 2020 election.

On Dec. 8, 2020, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to the vote in that state, saying that the state Republican Party had failed “to present any evidence of ‘misconduct’ or ‘illegal votes,’ let alone establish any degree of fraud or a sufficient error rate that would undermine the certainty of the election results.”

Early in the vote-counting, Arizona became the scene of a legal dispute over whether the use of felt-tip Sharpie pens in polling places had invalidated ballots in Democrat-leaning Maricopa County. This suit, too, was dismissed by a county judge.

Mr. Trump’s allies sought to invalidate election results in Detroit and other Democratic strongholds, filing six lawsuits in the aftermath of the election. All were dismissed by judges or dropped by the plaintiffs. Trump supporters also levied the baseless claim that software glitches in Dominion Voting Systems had changed vote tallies in two counties, but state officials said the errors were human and would not have affected the vote count.

Mr. Trump then tried to to get the Michigan Legislature to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 157,000-vote margin of victory. But on Nov. 20, a delegation of seven Michigan Republicans who had met with Mr. Trump at the White House said they had no information “that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

Ten days after the 2020 election in the state was called for Mr. Biden, the Trump campaign said it was suing, claiming that there were enough irregularities to call the outcome into question. The lawyers pointed to mail-in ballots from out of state, vote totals that had changed overnight, and what they said was a Biden campaign van stuffed with blank mail-in ballots.

A lower court judge summarily rejected the suit, saying the campaign had produced evidence of “little to no value” and not enough to cast doubt on Mr. Biden’s victory margin of more than 39,000 votes over Mr. Trump. The state’s Supreme Court later upheld the lower court ruling unanimously.

The legal battle in Pennsylvania started even before Election Day, when the state’s highest court gave the Democratic Party a series of legal victories, among them relaxing deadlines for mail-in votes and approving more ballot collection sites.

After the election came a deluge of legal challenges from Mr. Trump and his supporters, many of them focused on technicalities surrounding mail-in ballots, which had helped put Mr. Biden over the top. Trump supporters claimed in several suits that many of the mail-in ballots did not meet the requirements to be counted. Most of the suits were shot down by judges or withdrawn.

Perhaps the stiffest defeat for Mr. Trump came when his campaign sought in federal court to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results, alleging widespread improprieties with mail-in ballots, among other things.

A federal judge, Matthew W. Brann, used scathing terms to dismiss the suit, which asked him to disenfranchise seven million voters. Mr. Trump’s lawyers, he said, had provided “speculative accusations” that were “unsupported by the evidence.” An appeals court was even more critical of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, writing that “calling an election unfair does not make it so.”

The United States Supreme Court also delivered a rebuke to the state’s Republican Party in a one-sentence ruling that rejected the party’s request to review a state high court decision upholding a 2019 law allowing vote by mail for any reason.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court denied Mr. Trump’s attempt to invalidate more than 200,000 votes in the state’s two biggest Democratic bastions, issuing the ruling a few hours before the state cast its Electoral College votes for Mr. Biden.

The Trump campaign asked state courts to throw out votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane Counties by people who declared themselves to be indefinitely confined, people who delivered absentee ballots to events held by the Madison city clerk in October, people who cast ballots in person at early-voting sites, and absentee ballots that did not include the complete mailing address of the voter’s witness.

“We conclude the Campaign is not entitled to the relief it seeks,” wrote Justice Brian Hagedorn, a conservative who sided with the court’s three liberal justices in the 4-3 decision. The ruling extinguished Mr. Trump’s hope of flipping Wisconsin, which Mr. Biden won by only 20,000 votes.

The Republican-controlled Texas state government filed a suit directly to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the election procedures in four battleground states, seeking to bar those states from casting their electoral votes for Mr. Biden and to shift the selection of electors to those states’ legislature. That would have required the justices to throw out millions of votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The lawsuit was filed by the Republican attorney general of Texas and backed by his G.O.P. colleagues in 17 other states and by 106 Republican members of Congress, who claimed in court filing that the election had been “riddled with an unprecedented number of serious allegations of fraud and irregularities.”

The Supreme Court rejected the suit on Dec. 11, saying Texas had no legal right to challenge the election procedures of other states. “The state of Texas’ motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing,” the court’s order said.

James C. McKinley Jr.

Aug. 15, 2023, 2:14 p.m. ET

Delay has been one of Trump’s favorite tactics in court.

Image

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Delay has been Donald J. Trump’s favored strategy in court cases for much of his adult life, and he is likely to follow the same playbook in fighting the latest criminal charges leveled against him in Atlanta.

Over more than four decades, Mr. Trump has been sued many times and has filed many civil lawsuits of his own. In recent years, he has also faced federal criminal investigations, congressional inquiries and two impeachments.

He now faces criminal charges in Fulton County, Ga., where a grand jury there accused him and his allies of illegally trying to overturn Georgia’s results in the 2020 presidential election. It is his fourth indictment this year.

Mr. Trump has frequently used delaying tactics in legal matters that emerged from business disputes. Since becoming a politician, he has repeatedly tried to slow the pace of litigation, in order to run out the clock until larger events shifted the playing field.

Legal experts say there are a number of motions Mr. Trump’s lawyers can make to try to slow down or put off a trial date in the Georgia case. They might challenge the indictment itself, by arguing, for instance, that the grand jury that handed it up was not demographically representative of the county. They might challenge the impartiality of the judge, or seek a change of venue by arguing that Mr. Trump cannot receive a fair trial in Fulton County, where he did poorly in the election.

None of those motions is likely to succeed, but they can delay the legal process as the court disposes of them.

The Georgia cases names a total of 19 defendants, and trials with many defendants can be hard to organize. Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, said late Monday that she intended to try them all together.

Bringing a complex racketeering case to trial can also be tough, given the need to accommodate the schedules of a large number of lawyers and their clients, any pretrial negotiations over plea deals and cooperation agreements, and the sheer volume of evidence that must be disclosed to the defense before trial. If a defendant changes lawyers along the way, that alone can cause weeks of delay.

Looming over the entire process, of course, is the presidential election of 2024 and the possibility Mr. Trump might return to office in January 2025. A criminal trial of a sitting president would undoubtedly spin off litigation over whether it was permitted under the U.S. Constitution.

Mr. Trump has a history of putting off his day in court for as long as possible. One notable example came in an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney that led to charges of filing false business records over a hush-money payment. When prosecutors sent subpoenas to Mr. Trump’s accountants in 2019, seeking his tax returns and other records, he sued in federal court to block the document demand, a move that delayed the inquiry for 18 months while the case went to the Supreme Court — twice. (Mr. Trump lost both times.)

Similarly, when Democrats took over control of the House of Representatives after the 2018 midterm elections, Mr. Trump promised to stonewall subpoenas from their oversight investigations, and once the matters got to court, he raised a host of objections. The disputes chewed up time — for briefings, arguments and then the period judges took to draft opinions — and when those decisions went against him, he would appeal again and restart the process.

In that way, Mr. Trump effectively won despite losing, thwarting the House Democrats from obtaining potentially damaging information — like testimony by his former White House counsel about his efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation — before the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump has a lengthy history of treating legal challenges as public-relations problems. He almost always goes on the offensive, publicly attacking the credibility of witnesses against him, and often the integrity of the judge handling the case and the motives of prosecutors or opposing lawyers as well.

He has called the indictments in New York and Atlanta politically motivated attacks mounted by Democratic district attorneys. While he was president, the legal system repeatedly protected him from legal entanglements because of a Justice Department policy barring the indictment of a sitting president.

William K. Rashbaum, Jonah E. Bromwich, Charlie Savage and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Nick Corasaniti

Aug. 15, 2023, 1:43 p.m. ET

Nick Corasaniti

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who has been reticent to comment extensively on the charges against Trump or the 2020 election, responded on Tuesday to the former president’s pledge to reveal fraud in Georgia. “The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen,” Kemp wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor. The future of our country is at stake in 2024 and that must be our focus.”

Image

Credit…Alex Slitz/Associated Press

Richard FaussetDanny Hakim

Aug. 15, 2023, 1:28 p.m. ET

Who is Nathan Wade, the prosecutor who would take the lead in court?

Image

Nathan Wade in a courtroom in the Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta last month.Credit…Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The special prosecutor who is about to take the lead in the courtroom in the biggest case Atlanta has ever seen appears to have limited experience trying high-profile cases, much less a complex racketeering case involving multiple high-profile defendants.

Nathan J. Wade, who was hired last year to handle the Trump case by Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, is a veteran Atlanta-area personal injury and criminal defense lawyer. He spent a four-month stint as an assistant solicitor in the Atlanta suburb of Cobb County in 1999. In Georgia, solicitors generally prosecute matters like misdemeanors and traffic citations.

He also served as a special assistant attorney general for the state. Such lawyers usually take cases when the attorney general’s office does not have enough staff to handle a case, or when a case requires specialized knowledge. Mr. Wade did not respond to queries about the nature of his work for the state.

From 2011 to 2021, Mr. Wade was an associate municipal court judge in of Marietta, Ga., handling cases like city ordinance violations and misdemeanors. He was the first Black man to be appointed to a municipal judgeship in that city. On numerous occasions, according to local news articles, Mr. Wade unsuccessfully ran for superior court judge.

According to his profile on the State Bar of Georgia website, he attended John Marshall Law School in Chicago, which was later incorporated into the University of Illinois at Chicago.

As he gears up to prosecute a former president, the biography of Mr. Wade on his law firm’s website still promotes his capabilities in far more common legal scenarios.

“Whether you are in need of representation after a major car accident or are going through a change in your personal life that requires representation with a family law issue; whether you have a contract dispute, or whether you are involved in any type of civil litigation, Nathan J. Wade will be a zealous advocate for you,” the site says.

Danny HakimRichard Fausset

Aug. 15, 2023, 12:57 p.m. ET

Why pardons are especially hard to get in Georgia.

Image

Credit…The New York Times

Donald J. Trump has raised the idea in the past that as president he could pardon himself from federal crimes. While no president has ever pardoned himself, there is little restriction on the presidential pardon authority laid out in the Constitution.

But in the Georgia case, Mr. Trump would have no such power if he is re-elected, because a president’s pardons apply only to federal crimes.

Beyond that, getting a pardon in Georgia is not just a matter of persuading a governor to grant clemency. People convicted of state crimes are eligible to apply for pardons only five years after they have completed serving their sentences. Even then, it’s not the governor who decides but the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

And while criminals can ask the parole board to commute sentences right away, the board “will consider a commutation of a sentence imposed in other than death cases only when substantial evidence is submitted” showing “that the sentence is either excessive, illegal, unconstitutional or void” and that “such action would be in the best interests of society and the inmate.”

The board’s five members are appointed by the governor to seven-year terms, an effort to insulate them from political pressure.

Georgia set up its restrictive system after Gov. Eurith D. “Ed” Rivers was implicated in a cash-for-pardons scandal in the 1930s. Time magazine reported in 1941 that the governor’s chauffeur “frequently went to prison camps of Fulton County with pardons already signed and asked to see prisoners.” While charges were eventually dropped after Mr. Rivers was acquitted once and had two mistrials, a new pardon system was created in the wake of the scandal.

A correction was made on 

Aug. 15, 2023

An earlier version of this article misstated a condition to apply for a pardon in Georgia. Felons are not eligible to apply for a pardon until at least five years after they complete their sentences (unless they are otherwise able to prove their innocence), not five years after they start serving those sentences.

How we handle corrections

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 11:36 a.m. ET

Maggie Astor

Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican candidate for president, told Fox News this morning that the Georgia indictment was “unnecessary” because the special counsel, Jack Smith, has already charged Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Image

Credit…David Degner for The New York Times

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 11:34 a.m. ET

Maggie Astor

Reactions from Trump’s opponents in the Republican presidential race have been relatively muted so far. Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas condemned Trump, as they have before. Vivek Ramaswamy denounced the prosecution as the product of a “police state,” as he has before. Most other candidates have not weighed in.

Aug. 15, 2023, 11:00 a.m. ET

Alan Feuer

One of Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the federal case accusing him of illegally holding on to dozens of classified documents after he left office is scheduled to appear in court in Florida this morning to enter a plea of not guilty.

Image

Credit…Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

Aug. 15, 2023, 11:00 a.m. ET

Alan Feuer

Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and residence in Florida, was charged with conspiring with the former president and one of his personal aides to obstruct the government’s efforts to retrieve the classified material.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:52 a.m. ET

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Reporting from Atlanta

One of the most consequential criminal cases in Atlanta’s history will be overseen by the Fulton County Superior Court judge with the least judicial experience.

Image

Credit…Superior Court of Fulton County

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:52 a.m. ET

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Reporting from Atlanta

Judge Scott F. McAfee was sworn in just over six months ago after being appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp, making him the rookie of the bench. But he has significant legal experience. He worked as a federal prosecutor in Georgia and as an assistant district attorney prosecuting homicide cases in Fulton County.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Danny Hakim

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:42 a.m. ET

Danny Hakim

Reporting from Atlanta

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state and a witness in the Fulton County case, has released a short statement. He resisted efforts by former President Donald J. Trump to overturn the election in his state. The statement makes no mention of the indictment.

Image

Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times

Danny Hakim

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:42 a.m. ET

Danny Hakim

Reporting from Atlanta

“The most basic principles of a strong democracy are accountability and respect for the Constitution and rule of law,” he said. “You either have it, or you don’t.”

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:37 a.m. ET

Trump could face an extraordinary trial schedule next year.


Jan. 6 Case

Investigation began

Dec. 2021

Election Inquiry in Georgia

Investigation began

Feb. 2021

Classified Documents Case

Investigation began

March 2022

Manhattan Criminal Case

Alleged crime took place in 2017. Investigation began in 2018.

The unprecedented — a former U.S. president indicted, and while running for the office again — has now happened four times. Next up will be a presidential candidate going on trial. Possibly four times.

We don’t yet know the timelines for all the trials, and the preliminary dates we have for some of them may still change. But it is already clear that across the board, prosecutors are seeking to move quickly.

Extraordinary though the prospect is, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that Donald J. Trump could stand trial four times before the presidential election on Nov. 5, 2024 — and have to leave the campaign trail each time.

Justice Juan M. Merchan, who is presiding over the state case in New York concerning hush-money payments to a pornography actress, has scheduled a trial to begin March 25, 2024. If that date holds, it would be just under a year after the indictment in that case.

Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who is presiding over the federal case concerning Mr. Trump’s retention of classified documents, has scheduled a trial to begin May 20, 2024 — again, just under a year after indictment. Judge Cannon rejected the government’s request to hold the trial sooner, in December, but also rejected the Trump team’s push to delay the proceedings until after the 2024 election.

The dates for the other two trials — in the federal case concerning Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, for which he was indicted on Aug. 1, and now in the Georgia case — are still to be determined.

Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing that federal case, has proposed Jan. 2, 2024, for the opening of the trial. That would be just two weeks before the Iowa presidential caucuses.

Fani T. Willis, the prosecutor in the Georgia case, indicated on Monday that she would seek a trial within six months of the indictment, which would mean no later than mid-February 2024 — smack in the middle of the early primaries.

There’s no guarantee that the judges in those cases will agree to those requests.

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:03 a.m. ET

Maggie Astor

Former President Donald J. Trump continued to denounce the latest indictment against him in a post on his social media platform Tuesday morning and repeated his lie that the 2020 election was stolen. He said he would hold a news conference next Monday and release an “Irrefutable” report that would somehow prove his false claims of election fraud in Georgia. “They never went after those that Rigged the Election,” he wrote.

Aug. 15, 2023, 10:03 a.m. ET

Alan Feuer

Trump has doubled down on claims of election fraud before. When the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 put him on the spot last fall by issuing a subpoena for his testimony, he released a rambling 14-page letter rehashing all of his claims that the election had been marred by cheating.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Reid Epstein

Aug. 15, 2023, 9:07 a.m. ET

Reid Epstein

Traveling with President Biden

While Donald Trump deals with the fallout from being indicted for the fourth time, President Biden today will travel to the key battleground state of Wisconsin. The White House and Biden have not addressed Trump’s previous indictments and are not expected to speak about the one from Georgia.

Image

Credit…Cheriss May for The New York Times

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 8:31 a.m. ET

Maggie Astor

Former President Donald J. Trump has been given until noon on Aug. 25 to turn himself in to the authorities in Fulton County, Ga. From there, his processing and booking are likely to deviate from standard operating procedure. Here’s what happens next.

Jazmine Ulloa

Aug. 15, 2023, 8:30 a.m. ET

Hillary Clinton said she doesn’t ‘feel any satisfaction’ from the Trump indictments.

Image

Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump during their second presidential debate in 2016.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Less than an hour after a grand jury in Atlanta returned indictments in the 2020 election interference case in Georgia, Hillary Clinton on Monday called the developments “a terrible moment for our country.”

The indictment, released late on Monday evening, charges former President Donald J. Trump in a sprawling case. Before the charges were made public, Mrs. Clinton gave a previously scheduled late-night interview on MSNBC. She said that she felt “great profound sadness” that the former president had already been indicted on so many other charges that “went right to the heart of whether or not our democracy would survive.”

“Do you feel satisfaction in that you warned the country, essentially, that he was going to try to end democracy?” the anchor, Rachel Maddow, asked Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state and former first lady.

“I don’t feel any satisfaction,” Mrs. Clinton responded, adding that she did not know whether “anybody should be satisfied.” “The only satisfaction may be that the system is working, that all of the efforts by Donald Trump, his allies and his enablers to try to silence the truth, to try to undermine democracy have been brought into the light.”

In addition to the Georgia case, Mr. Trump has been charged in federal court with carrying out a concerted effort in six states, including Georgia, to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s victory. He has been charged in a federal court in Florida with mishandling classified documents, and in state court in New York in relation to hush-money paid to a porn star during the 2016 campaign.

Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump’s Democratic presidential rival in 2016, has been a target of Mr. Trump and his Republican allies as he has come under investigation.

Since Mr. Trump became the first former U.S. president to face federal charges, Republicans have repeatedly referred to the Justice Department’s decision in 2016 not to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. But several official investigations have found that Mrs. Clinton did not systematically or deliberately mishandle classified material. In 2018, a report by the inspector general supported the F.B.I.’s decision not to charge Mrs. Clinton.

On Monday night, she praised Mr. Biden’s leadership and fired back at a Republican Party that she suggested had lost its backbone and conscience, saying Americans needed to use the rule of law and elections “to defeat those who want to weaponize divisiveness, who want to undermine democratic values and institutions.”

Mrs. Clinton described the attack on the nation’s election system as the most critical in a long line of efforts to undermine the public’s trust in voting and democracy. “What happened on Jan. 6 — ‘Don’t believe what you saw, believe what I tell you’ — those are all the hallmarks of authoritarian, dictatorial kinds of leaders,” she said, calling 2024 a crucial moment in defeating anti-American political ideas and values.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Maggie Astor

Aug. 15, 2023, 8:14 a.m. ET

Maggie Astor

What happens if a presidential candidate is convicted of a felony? That prospect, once farfetched, is looking increasingly possible, and the Constitution and American law have clear answers for only some of the questions that would arise. Here’s what we know.

Aug. 15, 2023, 7:38 a.m. ET

The Daily Team

‘The Daily’ podcast discusses the law being used to prosecute Trump.

On Monday, former President Donald J. Trump and 18 others were indicted by an Atlanta grand jury, with Mr. Trump and some of his former top aides accused of orchestrating a “criminal enterprise” to reverse the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.

In Tuesday’s episode of “The Daily” podcast, Richard Fausset, who covers politics and culture in the American South for The New York Times, explains why, of all the charges piling up against the former president, this one may be the hardest to escape.

The Daily Poster

Listen to ‘The Daily’: A Law Used Against the Mafia – And Now Trump

Why the indictment in Georgia might be the hardest for the former president to escape.

Aug. 15, 2023, 7:09 a.m. ET

Here are five takeaways from the indictment.

Video

transcript

transcript

Fulton County D.A. Indicts Trump and 18 Others

The criminal indictment, brought by District Attorney Fani T. Willis, was the fourth for former President Donald Trump.

A Fulton County grand jury returned a true bill of indictment, charging 19 individuals with violations of Georgia law arising from a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in this state. The indictment includes 41 felony counts and is 97 pages long. Please remember that everyone charged in this bill of indictment is presumed innocent. The indictment alleges that rather than by abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result. Subsequent to the indictment, as is the normal process in Georgia law, the grand jury issued arrest warrants for those who are charged. I am giving the defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday, the 25th day of August 2023.

Video player loading

The criminal indictment, brought by District Attorney Fani T. Willis, was the fourth for former President Donald Trump.CreditCredit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Former President Donald J. Trump was indicted for a fourth time on Monday, this time over what prosecutors in Atlanta described as his and his allies’ efforts to unlawfully undo his election loss in Georgia in 2020.

The indictment follows a lengthy investigation by Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, and includes 13 charges against Mr. Trump, as well as charges against 18 other Trump allies who Ms. Willis said were part of a “criminal enterprise” seeking to overturn the Georgia election results.

Here’s what to know.

Prosecutors charged Mr. Trump and his allies under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, which allows them to tie together various crimes committed by different people by arguing that they were acting together for a common criminal goal.

Georgia’s RICO Act is patterned after a federal law that was passed to combat organized crime groups but in recent years has been used effectively in white-collar crime and political corruption cases.

At its heart, the statute requires prosecutors to prove the existence of an “enterprise” and a “pattern of racketeering activity.” Ms. Willis said 19 defendants were part of a criminal enterprise that tried to “accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J. Trump to seize the president’s office.”

Image

Mr. Trump and his allies were charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.Credit…Jon Cherry for The New York Times

The charges outlined in the indictment reach far beyond Mr. Trump to some of his closest allies. They include Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and lawyer for Mr. Trump.

Also charged are several more lawyers who are accused of working to try to overturn the election: Sidney Powell, who once promised to “release the Kraken” in exposing purported election fraud; John C. Eastman, who helped promote the idea of using bogus Trump electors in states where Mr. Trump lost; and Kenneth Chesebro, who also played a central role in that effort.

The sprawling nature of the racketeering case is noted in the indictment, with prosecutors citing conduct in Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania that they say furthered the defendants’ efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power.

Ms. Willis said late on Monday that she plans to try all 19 defendants together.

Image

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and lawyer for Mr. Trump, was charged as well in the indictment.Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

The indictment bundles together several efforts by Mr. Trump and his allies to reverse the election results in Georgia. None of the 19 defendants is accused of taking part in all of those different schemes, but under the RICO law, prosecutors have to prove only that each one broke state laws as part of a continuing criminal enterprise with the same overarching goal.

Several of the individual counts stem from false claims of election fraud that Mr. Giuliani and two other Trump lawyers, Robert Cheeley and Ray Smith III, made at legislative hearings in December 2020.

Another batch of charges concerns a plan Mr. Trump’s supporters carried out to vote for a false slate of pro-Trump electors and send a forged document to Congress claiming those electors were legitimate.

A third raft of charges accuses several Trump allies of conspiring to steal voter data and tamper with voting equipment at the elections office in Coffee County, Ga.

Some of the defendants were charged only in connection with a bizarre scheme to harass and intimidate an election worker, Ruby Freeman, whom Mr. Trump and his allies had wrongfully accused of fraud.

Image

Shaye Moss, center, being comforted by her mother, Ruby Freeman, during a hearing last year. The two women served as election workers in Georgia in 2020 and were wrongfully accused of fraud by Mr. Trump and his allies.Credit…Shuran Huang for The New York Times

Ms. Willis said on Monday that she was giving Mr. Trump until noon on Aug. 25 to surrender in Fulton County, where he would be arraigned on the charges and enter a plea.

When Mr. Trump was indicted in New York, he was able to surrender and avoid some of the standard procedures for most people who are arrested, such as having his mug shot taken and being handcuffed.

Patrick Labat, the Fulton County sheriff, said this month that unless he was told otherwise, Mr. Trump would be booked in the same way as any other defendant.

Still, the Secret Service could try to change the sheriff’s plans.

Image

Mr. Trump has until Aug. 25 to surrender in Fulton County, where he would be arraigned on the charges and enter a plea.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Mr. Trump lashed out at Ms. Willis after the indictment, suggesting that she had charged him to further her own political standing and seizing on the fact that an improper copy of the indictment had reportedly been uploaded to a court website even before the grand jurors voted.

Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that a document that appeared to be a docket entry for an indictment against Mr. Trump had been posted, and then removed from, the Fulton County court’s website. A spokesman for the court called the document “fictitious,” and the court clerk, Ché Alexander, declined to discuss what had happened in detail.

Mr. Trump and his allies said it was a sign that the prosecution saw the grand jury’s vote, which took place later in the day, as a foregone conclusion.

Richard Fausset, Danny Hakim and Anna Betts contributed reporting from Atlanta.

Advertisement

SKIP ADVERTISEMENT

Ashley Wu

Aug. 15, 2023, 2:09 a.m. ET

Ashley Wu

The indictment delivered Monday in the Georgia election interference investigation is expansive and complicated, charging a network of 19 people with 41 counts. Here is a breakdown of those charges by type.


22 counts

Related to forgery or false documents and statements

8 counts

Related to soliciting or impersonating public officers

3 counts

Related to influencing witnesses

3 counts

Related to election fraud or defrauding the state

3 counts

Related to computer tampering

1 count

Related to racketeering

1 count

Related to perjury

James C. McKinley Jr.

Aug. 15, 2023, 2:00 a.m. ET

Who are the lawyers representing Donald Trump in Georgia?

Image

Drew Findling is known in rap circles in Atlanta as a “magician” because of his effective defense of clients like Cardi B, Migos and Gucci Mane. Credit…Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press

Donald J. Trump’s legal team includes a former prosecutor with experience in white collar cases and a career defense lawyer who started as a public defender and is best known for defending hip-hop artists.

The defense lawyer, Drew Findling, is known in rap circles in Atlanta as a “magician” because of his effective defense of clients like Cardi B, Migos and Gucci Mane. He brings decades of trial experience, ranging from high-profile murder cases to local corruption scandals.

Skilled in the courtroom, Mr. Findling is far more politically liberal than his client, Mr. Trump. When Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, he said on Instagram that he was committed to “fighting to restore a woman’s right to choose which has been destroyed by the Supreme Court.”

Mr. Trump’s condemnation of the Central Park Five — the five Black men who were wrongly convicted in 1989 in the rape of a jogger in New York City — brought a strong response from Mr. Findling in 2017, who called Mr. Trump’s remarks “racist, cruel, sick, unforgivable and un-American.” And when Mr. Trump insulted the intelligence of the basketball great LeBron James in 2018, Mr. Findling said Mr. Trump was “pathetic once again.”

Mr. Findling said last August that he would strongly defend Mr. Trump despite their political differences, pointing to the example of John Adams, who took the unpopular position of representing British troops after the Boston Massacre.

“I do not believe that we choose our client or clients based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, political belief or the substantive issues involved in the crime,” he said, adding, “We have our personal lives and we have our personal politics, and I don’t apologize for my personal politics.”

He has called the investigation of Mr. Trump by the Fulton County district attorney “an erroneous and politically driven persecution” and said he was “fully committed to defend against this injustice.”

Mr. Findling’s teammate at the defense table is Jennifer Little, who began her career as a prosecutor in DeKalb County, Ga., handling major felonies, including murder and rape cases. Over eight years with the county district attorney’s office, she tried more than 50 cases and spent time on the office’s white collar crime units, according to her website.

After leaving the district attorney’s office, she was a partner in the firm Fried Bonder White for nine years, expanding into civil litigation. She later started her own boutique law firm, JLLaw.

“We absolutely do not believe that our client did anything wrong, and if any indictments were to come down, those are faulty indictments,” Ms. Little said on the CBS News show “Face the Nation” in February. “We will absolutely fight anything tooth and nail.”

By info

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *