What you need to know about Trump’s fourth indictment

by Alex Caldwell

Analysis by Alex Caldwell | Photo: Alamy

President Donald Trump was indicted for a fourth time late on Monday—this time over his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results from the state of Georgia.

18 Trump former officials, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Kenneth Cheseboro, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, and others were also charged, per the indictment.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, D-Ga., accused Trump and his former officials of using a “criminal enterprise” to win the 2020 election, charging them with violating Georgia’s RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced And Corruption Act).

Trump and the 18 defendants were charged with 41 felony counts, of which the indictment suggests they had “unlawfully conspired and endeavored to conduct and participate in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia and elsewhere.”

Per the indictment, Trump and the defendants were reportedly part of a “criminal organization” whose questioning of the 2020 election results equated to crimes such as making false statements, forgery, computer theft, perjury, conspiracy to defraud the state, and influencing witnesses amongst other charges.

It was an alleged crime, according to the indictment, for Trump and everyone involved to even question the legitimacy of the race, and their “false statements” made during election hearings were made in order to persuade Georgia legislators to “reject lawful electoral votes cast by the duly elected and qualified presidential electors in Georgia.”

Trump, of course, has repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of the election results from Georgia in 2020. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, R-Ga., quickly certified Joe Biden the winner of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes despite a slew of election integrity hearings purporting election shenanigans.

Raffensperger and Trump

Trump, who lost the state by just 11,779 votes, called on Raffensperger to “reexamine” the state’s election, and allegedly “find” the 11,780 votes that he needed to defeat Biden. Raffensperger, however, refused to contest the results at all.

In Jan. 2022, Raffensperger opened an investigation into an alleged illegal ballot harvesting scheme that he claimed may have taken place in 2020 (which is illegal in Georgia). He received a claim from True the Vote, an election integrity group, which allegedly discovered that over 5,600 ballot drops were made during the 2020 election, potentially influencing tens of thousands of votes.

Raffensperger has since advocated to “ban the practice entirely” (even though it was already illegal in Georgia), although he has never changed his position on his certification of Joe Biden as the winner of Georgia in 2020.

In her indictment, Fani Willis accused President Trump of “soliciting” Raffensperger because of his purported phone call. She also accused Trump of soliciting Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., the state’s Speaker of the House, the Senate Pro Tempore, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Willis also claimed Trump and his campaign tried to “unlawfully appoint their own presidential electors for the purpose of casting electoral votes for Donald Trump.”

In the 97-paged indictment, the Democrat Georgia district attorney also listed 160 “Acts” that Trump and the defendants allegedly took after the 2020 election, which she called a “furtherance of the conspiracy” to overturn the election.

For “Act 128,” a Trump tweet quoting the U.S. Constitution surrounding the vice president’s power to “reject fraudulently chosen electors” was cited by the district attorney as evidence of crimes committed by the 45th president.

Trump’s tweets urging supporters to tune into various news networks covering election integrity hearings were also cited by Fani Willis as an example of criminal activity.

Democrats have continually pushed for legal action against Trump in Georgia over his alleged phone call with the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where the 45th president reportedly urged him to “find” enough votes to win the state that had narrowly been awarded to Joe Biden.

However, despite numerous reports of illegal ballot harvesting, Raffensperger certified the win for Biden by 11,779 votes.

A Democrat double standard

As Fani Willis continues her seemingly political pursuit against Trump, prominent scholars have pointed out her hypocrisy for ignoring the long history and precedent of Democrats trying to overturn election results, such as Al Gore in 2000.

Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard professor and former legal council for Al Gore, told Fox News that Gore’s 2000 campaign did “the same thing” in their election challenge as Trump in 2020, but they did not face any legal repercussions.

“We challenged the election, and we did much of the things that are being done today and people praised us,” Harvard’s professor told Fox News. “Now they’re making it a crime.”

Democrats have relentlessly attacked President Trump and Republicans for questioning 2020’s election results, pursuing endless legal battles against them. However, Democrats have a rich history of objecting to elections won by Republicans throughout the 21st century.

A 24-minute compilation of Democrats objecting to election results was posted to X (formerly Twitter) by Libs of TikTok, with their objections to Republican victories during the 2000, 2004, 2016, and 2018 elections.

The Gore campaign famously challenged the 2000 election results, particularly Florida’s, after George W. Bush had been projected the winner of the state by just a few hundred votes. The challenge went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which then awarded Florida’s 25 electoral votes to Bush, much to the chagrin of Democrats.

16 House Democrats objected during the formal certification of the 2000 presidential election results, but none had faced any legal repercussions or censorship for their actions.

Prominent Democrats, including Al Gore, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and numerous other liberal officials have called Gore the winner of the 2000 election, but none ever faced legal consequences.

Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump, called the 45th president “illegitimate,” and claimed that the election was “stolen” from her, although she has never faced any legal repercussions for her words.

House Democrats also objected 11 times during the formal certification of Trump’s 2016 victory, according to NBC News, but none of them faced any backlash.

In Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election, Democrat Stacey Abrams lost to Republican Brian Kemp. However, she claimed that she “won” and that her opponent “cheated.” Abrams, however, has never faced any legal repercussions in Georgia.

According to Dershowitz, “You cannot start making crimes of things that the Democrats did” regarding their objection to past election objections.

“These are political actions that the Constitution prefers us to take rather than going out on the streets and rioting. We’re supposed to go to court. We’re supposed to go to Congress. You can’t make those things crimes. And you can’t expand the RICO statute to now include political objections,” said Dershowitz. 

Should Dershowitz’s insight prove true, the legal backlash could prove detrimental for Democrats, as many of them have purportedly taken the same actions as Trump, who himself is facing legal consequences.

Trump and the 18 defendants have until Aug. 25 to surrender. During a late press conference Monday, Willis said that she wanted the trial to take place within the next six months.

You may also like