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Donald Trump indicted: Congressional Republicans line up behind former president for 'bogus' charges
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ANALYSIS: Georgia Trump Indictment Strugles to Back Criminal Intention Claims- Where's the Crime?
READ: Mark Meadows Files Motion That Could Be an Out in Georgia for Trump and Multiple Defendants who worked in Federal Government- August 16, 2023
by Cami Mondeaux, Congressional Reporter, Washington Examiner, August 14, 2023 11:18 PM
Republican leaders were quick to come to the defense of Donald Trump shortly after a new indictment was filed against the former president in Fulton County, Georgia, related to his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the Peach State.
A grand jury in Georgia voted to indict Trump late Monday evening on a slew of racketeering charges related to the 2020 election, including a number of RICO violations, conspiracy to commit forgery, filing false statements and writings, filing false documents, solicitation of violation of oath by public officers, and more.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to the indictment charges shortly after they were unsealed on Monday, making him the highest-ranking lawmaker to issue a statement. The House Republican leader decried the charges as a "desperate sham," accusing Democrats of seeking to harm Trump's presidential campaign.
"Justice should be blind, but Biden has weaponized government against his leading political opponent to interfere in the 2024 election," he said in a statement. "Now a radical DA in Georgia is following Biden’s lead by attacking President Trump and using it to fundraise her political career."
President Trump can, in fact, pardon himself from the GA charges if he is elected president.— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 15, 2023
1. The Constitution's silent about whether a president can be indicted.
2. The DOJ has taken the position under both parties that you cannot indict a sitting president because it would…
“This is another rogue Far Left radical District Attorney weaponizing their office to target Joe Biden’s top political opponent President Trump,” House GOP Caucus Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said. “President Trump had every legal right to challenge the results of the election. This radical DA displayed political bias toward President Trump so much that a judge disqualified her from part of this case. 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.”
Other Republicans weighed in even before the charges were filed, accusing the Biden administration of weaponizing the justice system ahead of a crucial election cycle — especially as he may face Trump in a general election rematch next year.
"I'm pissed," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Fox News on Monday. "I'm pissed at these. Over and over and over again. If there are indictments tonight, it'll be the fourth indictment of Donald Trump. This is disgraceful."
Other Republicans accused prosecutors of using charges to distract from the legal troubles stemming from the president's son, Hunter Biden. House Republicans criticized the timing of the indictment, which came just days after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as the special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation — a decision several GOP lawmakers decried as a way to "cover up" any criminal wrongdoing.
"The newest charges against Trump in Fulton County come just days after AG Garland elevated Weiss to special counsel in the Hunter Biden case," Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said. "Once again, the radical Left is targeting the Republican front-runner, President Trump, to distract from the Biden family corruption."
Other lawmakers suggested that Trump's actions were justified and within his legal rights, arguing the former president did not commit any wrongdoing.
"Today's indictment is just the latest political attack in the Democrats' WITCH HUNT against President Trump," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said in a statement. "He did nothing wrong!"
Some of Trump's political opponents in the GOP presidential primary were quick to come to his defense, with Vivek Ramaswamy issuing a statement even before the indictment was publicly released.
"These are politicized persecutions through prosecution," Ramaswamy told NewsNation. "It would be a lot easier for me if Donald Trump were not in this primary, but this is not how I want to win this election."
The charges come after confusion ensued in Fulton County earlier Monday afternoon when a now-deleted filing was published online detailing several charges against Trump. The document was quickly taken down, and the Office of the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts Honorable Che Alexander later released a statement that it was a “fictitious document.”
House Republicans were quick to seize on the error, citing it as evidence of an unsubstantiated indictment.
“In the dead of the night, an overzealous junior varsity prosecutor from a county filled with crime and corruption indicted President Trump for purely political purposes," House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee said in a statement shortly after the indictment was unsealed. "Disgraceful.”
"Junior Varsity Fani Willis," they said in another statement earlier in the day, referring to the Fulton County district attorney leading the case. "What a joke."
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The charges mark Trump's fifth criminal indictment so far this year and come less than two weeks after the former president was charged in a separate case related to his alleged efforts to overturn the presidential election and his actions leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump is expected to plead not guilty to all counts.
Monday's indictment stems from a 2 1/2-year investigation into Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss to President Joe Biden in Georgia, a key swing state that helped secure his Electoral College victory. The inquiry focused on five separate actions taken by Trump and the former president’s allies in the weeks following the 2020 election, including phone calls made to Georgia officials to overturn the election results.
The indictment also detailed instances in which Trump and his allies pressured local election officials, made false claims of voter fraud, and concocted a plan to recruit a fake slate of electors to certify a victory for Trump rather than Biden. Eighteen other people were indicted alongside Trump on similar charges, including former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former Trump adviser John Eastman, among others.
Trump already faces federal charges related to his actions in Georgia after being indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on four separate federal charges: one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, one count of obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and one count of conspiracy against rights.
Trump and 18 Others are Indicted in Georgia for Questioning 2020 Election Results.
by Ben Whedon & Madeline Hubbard, Just the News, August 15, 2023
Georgia grand jury on Monday night handed up an indictment charging former President Donald Trump and 18 others with engaging in a broad conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.
The indictment was the dramatic conclusion to a 2-plus year investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat.
In addition to the former president, the others facing charges include former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, attorneys Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Ray Smith, Robert Cheeley, and Sidney Powell; would-be Trump electors Shawn Still, Cathy Latham, and David Shafer; pastor Stephen Lee, election official Misty Hampton, publicist Trevian Kutti, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, Trump campaign official Mike Roman, Scott Hall, and Black Voices for Trump leader Harrison Floyd.
Trump and Meadows are accused of working together to direct longtime aide John McEntee to disrupt and delay the Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress to certify then-Democrat President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
All 19 defendants face racketeering charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as the RICO Act.
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Trump also faces myriad conspiracy charges and multiple counts of soliciting a public official to violate their oath. He also faces charges for allegedly making false statements to state legislators and officials. Other charges are related to voting machines and so-called "false electors."
"Today, based on information developed by [the] investigation in Fulton County, a grand jury returned a true bill of indictment," Willis said after the indictment was made public at about 11 p.m. ET.
Willis also said she has issued arrest warrants for all 19 defendants but gave them the opportunity to surrender voluntarily by August 25. In addition, Willis said she hopes to create a schedule that would start the trial in six months and plans to try all 19 defendants together.
The racketeering charge carries as mandatory prison sentence.
There are reportedly 30 un-indicted co-conspirators.
The charges against Trump appear to be identical to those erroneously posted, then swiftly deleted before the grand jury concluded proceedings. Earlier in the day, a website for Fulton County briefly listed a litany of criminal charges against the former president, but promptly deleted them.
The 98-page indictment alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy, using the same racketeering laws that have been used to bring down the mob and drug cartels. It identified over 160 acts that prosecutors allege were part of the racketeering scheme, including Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to find enough votes to declare Trump the winner, an effort to obtain a voting machine, and the submission of false information to the state Legislature.
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After the announcement, the Trump campaign called the indictment "bogus."
"Fulton County, GA’s radical Democrat DA Fani Willis is a rabid partisan who is campaigning and fundraising on a platform of prosecuting President Trump through these bogus indictments," the statement read. "Ripping a page from Crooked Joe Biden's playbook, Willis has strategically stalled her investigation to try and maximally interfere with the 2024 presidential race and damage the dominant Trump campaign. All of these corrupt Democrat attempts will fail."
Barricades went up last week around the Fulton courthouse in preparation for the announcement. Willis, who is black, also told employees that she received racist threats over the matter, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
There were no reports of problems outside of the Fulton County courthouse at midnight.
As recently as Monday, the district attorney's office was still subpoenaing witnesses. Reporter George Chidi said in The Intercept that he received a subpoena Monday to testify for the second time before a Fulton County jury about what he saw during a December 2020 meeting of Georgia's so-called "alternate" electors, at least 11 of whom are targets in the probe.