Fulton County DA Fani Willis held a press conference after the indictment on RICO charges was released in Georgia. The lengthy charges, served against Trump and 18 of his associates, involve the RICO Act and are primarily regarding alleged conspiracies.
"Every individual charged," Willis said, "in the indictment is charged with one count of violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act through participation in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere, to accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J Trump to fees, the presidential term of office, beginning on January, 20 21."
Willis further explained her theory of crimes allegedly committed, saying "Specifically, the participants in association took various actions in Georgia and elsewhere to block the counting of the votes of the presidential electors who were certified as the winners of Georgia's 2020 general election.
"As you examine the indictment, you will see acts that are identified as overt acts, and those that are identified as predicate acts, sometimes called acts of racketeering activity. overt acts are not necessarily crimes under Georgia law in isolation, but are alleged to be acts taken in furtherance of the conspiracy. Many occurred in Georgia and some occur in other jurisdictions and are included because the grand jury believes they were part of the illegal effort to overturn the results of Georgia's 2020 presidential election.
"The acts identified as predicate acts or acts of racketeering activity. are crimes that are alleged to have been committed in furtherance of the criminal enterprise acts the racketeering activity are also charged as separate counts in the indictment against those who are alleged to have committed them.
"All elections in our nation are administered by the states, which are given the responsibility of ensuring a fair process and an accurate counting of the votes. That includes elections for presidential electors. Congress, state officials and local offices. The state's role in this process is essential to the functioning of our democracy.
"Georgia, like every state has laws that allow those who believe that results of an election are wrong, whether because of intentional wrongdoing, or unintentional error to challenge those results in our state courts.
"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.
"I remind everyone here that an indictment is only a series of allegations based on a grand jury's determination of probable cause to support the charges. It is now the duty of my office to prove these charges in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt at trial," she concluded her remarks.
In questions, she said she would be trying all 19 of the defendants together. When asked about the leaked charges that came out earlier on Monday, prior to the grand jury voting on whether or not to indict, she refused to answer.
"No, I can't tell you anything about what you refer to," she said. "What I can tell you is that we had a grand jury here in Fulton County, they deliberated till almost 8:00, if not right after 8:00, an indictment was returned. It was true build and we now have an indictment. I am not an expert on clerks, duties, or even administrative duties. I wouldn't know how to work that system. And so I'm not going to speculate. Next question."
On Monday, charges against Trump and co-defendants was leaked online and reported by Reuters. Moments later, those charges were disappeared from Twitter, and the DA's office said the document was "fictitious." This document was leaked prior to the grand jury having voted—meaning that the charges were filed prior to the indictment.
The indictment revealed that the charges voted on by the grand jury were the same ones that were apparently filed prior to the grand jury having voted on them.
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