The 8 Biggest Takeaways From Trump’s Georgia Indictment

The criminal case announced Monday is the fourth brought against the ex-president in a matter of months.

The criminal case announced Monday is the fourth brought against the ex-president in a matter of months.

The criminal case announced Monday is the fourth brought against the ex-president in a matter of months.

Georgia prosecutors on Tuesday night released a 98-page indictment charging Trump and 18 allies — ranging from attorneys to former top government officials — with a wide-ranging scheme to undo the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia and beyond by spreading lies and bullying officials to do the same. 

The indictment covers a lot of ground, spanning different states and events that occurred beginning around the time of the Nov. 3, 2020, election and continuing through President Joe Biden’s term in office.

Here are some highlights of the events and characters laid out in the documents:

Trump had lots of help in his quest to undo Biden’s win, prosecutors allege.

It takes a village — and Trump allegedly had one behind him helping to elevate the lies he used to try to overturn the election. 

There are names both familiar — Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and law professor John Eastman — and less well-known among Trump’s 18 co-defendants charged in the case, including lawyer Kenneth Chesebro and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. Both Chesebro and Clark are also named in Trump’s third indictment concerning the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, pointing to a deep entanglement. 

The indictment isn’t limited to only what prosecutors contend happened in Georgia.

The scheme laid out by the Fulton County district attorney extends into battleground states where Trump’s allies were challenging Biden’s victories and also Washington, D.C., where the case’s alleged co-conspirators stand accused of lying to and pressuring officials, including then-Vice President Mike Pence, to overturn the results.

“The enterprise operated in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the State of Georgia, in other states, including, but not limited to, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and in the District of Columbia,” the indictment says. 

That the alleged crimes crossed multiple state lines is what gave prosecutors the grounds to frame the case as a sweeping criminal conspiracy that includes charges of racketeering against the former president.

The indictment alleges that several of the defendants, or “members of the enterprise,” as they’re referred to in the documents, “made false statements to state legislators during hearings and meetings in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania in November and December 2020 to persuade legislators in those states to unlawfully appoint their own presidential electors.”

It cites the election workers who received death threats after Trump shared a story falsely accusing them of election fraud.

Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss faced harassment after Trump and Giuliani amplified conspiracy theories that falsely accused them and others of secretly adding ballots to the hand count at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on the 2020 election night. They were cleared of wrongdoing but nonetheless faced death threats as a result of the lies spread by Trump and others. 

The indictment charges pastor Stephen Cliffgard Lee, one of the people at the center of the effort to overturn the vote in Georgia, who allegedly showed up to Freeman’s house in Fulton County to try to influence her testimony to state lawmakers, according to the indictment.

“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,” the indictment says.

Giuliani was charged with making false statements for testifying under oath that Freeman, Moss and an unidentified man were “quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they’re vials of heroin or cocaine” in an effort to “infiltrate the crooked Dominion voting machines.”

Trump’s tweets are in there.

The indictment cites numerous archived @RealDonaldTrump tweets as evidence of the conspiracy to overturn the election. Trump was booted from Twitter (now called X) in early 2021 after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, and now uses Truth Social to share his unfiltered views. Here’s a sampling of the tweets that prosecutors found incriminating:

Dec. 3, 2020: “Wow! Blockbuster testimony taking place right now in Georgia. Ballot stuffing by Dems when Republicans were forced to leave the large counting room. Plenty more coming, but this alone leads to an easy win of the State!” Trump tweeted during a legislative hearing where the former president and allies were accused of deliberately lying about the election.

Dec. 6, 2020: “Gee, what a surprise. Has anyone informed the so-called (says he has no power to do anything!) Governor @BrianKempGA& his puppet Lt. Governor @GeoffDuncanGA, that they could easily solve this mess, & WIN. Signature verification & call a Special Session. So easy!” 

“This was an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy,” the indictment says after each quoted tweet.

The numbers were all bullshit.

In the days after the election, Trump and his allies often cited fake numbers to justify their election loss. Proof was never produced to support the wild figures. The indictment cites many of them as evidence of the alleged lies used to sow doubt about the election. For example:

66,247 — the number of underage people Trump and law professor John Eastman falsely said voted illegally in Georgia.

10,315 — the number of dead people Trump and Eastman falsely claimed voted.

2,506 — the number of felons that Trump and Eastman falsely claimed voted.

Eastman allegedly admitted that he knew his plan violated the law.

The indictment details Trump and his allies’ scramble in the days preceding the Jan. 6 riot to try to get Pence to agree to stall or otherwise interfere with the certification of the electoral votes.

On Jan. 4, Trump and Eastman allegedly proposed having Pence either reject certain states’ electoral votes or delay the joint session of Congress in which the vote was to be certified.

Eastman “admitted both options violated the Electoral Count Act,” according to the indictment.

Then, as the House and Senate were debating objections to the certification of Arizona’s votes, Eastman argued in an email to Pence’s counsel Greg Jacob that both chambers violated procedural aspects of the Electoral Count Act. He wanted Pence to see that violations of the law for other purposes might be acceptable.

“So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here,” Eastman wrote, according to the indictment. 

Lying is a big part of the conspiracy theory allegedly led by Trump — but not all of it.

Trump is charged with multiple counts of making “false statements” about the 2020 election and conspiring to have other false statements made.

But he also stands accused of plotting to forge documents, including a “certificate of the votes of the 2020 electors from Georgia,” that purported to be an official state government document.

And prosecutors allege that Trump’s effort to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other election officials to throw out the election results amounts to “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer.”

Some of the alleged crimes continued well into Biden’s presidency.

As late as Jan. 26, 2021, after Biden had been inaugurated, an unindicted co-conspirator illegally downloaded data from electronic voting systems in Coffee County, Georgia, per the indictment. 

In addition, a number of Trump allies are accused of lying to investigators, prosecutors or Congress well into 2022. For example, lawyer Sidney Powell is accused of lying in May 2022 in her deposition to the House select committee investigating the events leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021.


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