Trump, 18 others indicted by grand jury; DA sets Aug. 25 deadline for defendants’ surrender

ATLANTA — Donald Trump was indicted for a fourth time as a grand jury in Atlanta on Monday handed up indictments in the election interference case involving the former president and some of his associates. Eighteen other people were also indicted, including Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

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Defendants have Aug. 25 deadline to surrender

Update 11:54 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: During a news conference late Monday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said that the 19 defendants in the case, including former President Donald Trump, have until noon EDT on Aug. 25 to “voluntarily surrender.”

Willis added that she plans to try all 19 defendants together and wants to “move this case along” and will seek a trial date within six months.

“I want to try him and be respectful of our sovereign states,” Willis told reporters. “We do want to move this case along, and so we will be asking for a proposed order that occurs, a trial date within the next six months.”

Willis told reporters that she had no political motive for bringing the indictment, as Trump has claimed.

“I make decisions in this office based on the facts and the law,” she said. “The law is completely nonpartisan.”

Charges against Trump include racketeering

Update 11:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: According to court documents obtained by WSB-TV and other news outlets, former President Donald Trump was charged with violation of the Georgia RICO Act, solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, conspiracy to commit filing false documents, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, filing false documents, solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, false statements and writings, solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, and two more counts of false statements and writings.

The 41-count indictment stated that Trump and the other 18 defendants “unlawfully conspired and endeavored to conduct and participate in a criminal enterprise” after Trump lost the election in Georgia, CNN reported.

“Defendants, as well as others not named as defendants, unlawfully conspired and endeavored to conduct and participate in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere,” court documents stated.

Trump indicted; 18 others charged

Updated 10:58 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: The 97-page indictment charged former President Donald Trump with racketeering, violating oath of office and other charges in his bid to overturn the 2020 election.

The former president was one of 19 defendants in the case, according to the indictment.

There are 19 people charged in the Georgia case, according to the indictment. The others included Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City; Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff; John Eastman, a Trump attorney; Sidney Powell, an attorney for Trump; attorney Kenneth Cheseboro; Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official during the Trump administration; and Jenns Ellis, a campaign attorney for the former president.

Others indicted were Mike Roman, a Trump campaign official; attorney Robert Cheeley; David Shafer, a Republican official in Georgia; Shawn Still, Stephen Lee, a pastor; Harrison Lloyd, a leader of Black Voices for Trump; Trevian Kutti, a publicist; Cathy Latham; Scott Hall; Misty Hampton; and Ray Smith.

The indictment was the fourth handed down against Trump, and the second by a state. Trump is also facing a legal challenge in New York and federal indictments in Florida and Washington, D.C.

All of the defendants are facing racketeering charges, according to court documents.

t of her investigation into efforts by Donald Trump and allies to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election result.

The indictment includes more than three dozen different charges for the 19 defendants, but the thread that connects all the individuals is that they’ve been charged under RICO -- the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

In addition to the 19 named defendants, the charging documents cite additional unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators, The New York Times reported.

Trump campaign blasts Fulton County DA

Update 10:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: A new statement from the Trump campaign accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of being a “rabid partisan” and says her election interference investigation is based on “fabricated accusations,” The New York Times reported.

The campaign also tied the investigation to the Biden administration, according to the newspaper.

“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,” the statement read. “All of these corrupt Democrat attempts will fail.

“These activities by Democrat leaders constitute a grave threat to American democracy and are direct attempts to deprive the American people of their rightful choice to cast their vote for President,” the statement said. “Call it election interference or election manipulation -- it is a dangerous effort by the ruling class to suppress the choice of the people. It is un-American and wrong.”

Clerk: Grand jury returns 10 indictments

Update 9:46 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: The Fulton County clerk said the grand jury returned 10 indictments, according to the New York Times.

Che Alexander confirmed to reporters in her office that there were 10 indictments but did not say who was named, CNN reported.

Original report: The grand jury in Georgia’s capital was hearing evidence brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who launched an investigation two-and-a-half years ago to determine whether Trump and his associates broke the law when they sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Twelve of 23 grand jurors must agree that there is probable cause to hand up criminal charges, according to The Washington Post.

It came after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who presided over the grand jury, said Monday that he was prepared to keep jurors past the regular closing time of 5 p.m. EDT.

McBurney made that announcement in open court, CNN reported.

The grand jury remained in court after 5 p.m. and stayed until nearly 9 p.m.

Former Georgia lieutenant governor Geoff Duncan, who originally was scheduled to testify on Tuesday, was in the courthouse on Monday, the Post reported. According to WSB-TV, former Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan, former state Rep. Bee Nguyen and Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office appeared at the courthouse to testify on Monday.

Prosecutors presented evidence Monday to a grand jury in Fulton County, The Associated Press reported. In a post on social media, the former president urged someone to “PLEASE TELL THE FULTON COUNTY GRAND JURY THAT I DID NOT TAMPER WITH THE ELECTION.”

In February 2022, Willis launched an investigation into whether anyone broke the law in trying to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results. She began investigating after audio surfaced of a phone call between Trump — who was then the president — and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In the call, Trump urged officials to “find” enough votes to overturn his election loss to now-President Joe Biden.

Trump has consistently denied wrongdoing, often framing his call with Raffensberger as “a perfect call.”

In January, a grand jury investigating the case finished its work. Willis said that she planned to decide on whether to charge Trump with any alleged crimes in the summer.

Experts previously told WSB-TV that Willis was likely to present a grand jury with racketeering charges. Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute is considered to be very broad and allows prosecutors to build cases based on violations of state and federal law, including activities in other states, according to The Washington Post. To bring a case under the law, an alleged crime must include two underlying felonies, such as fraud, bribery or witness tampering, WSB reported.

Prosecutors have leveled a slew of charges against the former president for his handling of classified records after federal agents recovered more than 100 classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, last year. Two of his aides have so far also been charged in connection with the investigation.

In Washington, Trump faces four federal charges related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol. In the indictment, authorities referenced six co-conspirators, though they have not been charged in connection with the investigation.

A grand jury in New York indicted Trump on dozens of charges of falsifying business records in March. The state’s attorney general, Letitia James, has also sued Trump, members of his family and his Trump Organization, accusing them of fraud.

Longtime magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll is also seeking additional damages from Trump based on comments he made about her following a CNN town hall in May. That month, a civil jury in New York found the former president liable for battery and defamation and ordered him to pay $5 million in damages.

Trump announced last year that he is running for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race. Several polls have identified him as a front-runner.

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