Why Georgia indictment could pose unique peril for Trump


The racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 18 others handed up by an Atlanta grand jury on Monday night could be one of the most consequential of all the legal threats the ex-president currently faces, according to some legal experts.

In part, that’s due to its sweep. The Georgia indictment features 13 counts against Mr. Trump and also charges Trump allies such as Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and former chief of staff Mark Meadows with participating in a conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Why We Wrote This

The sweeping racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 18 associates underscores the central role of states in running elections – and places Georgia at the center of an alleged national conspiracy.

The case also underscores the central role states play in running elections. Many states have laws directly applicable to the sort of election obstructions that Mr. Trump and his allies allegedly engaged in. The Atlanta charges are based on Georgia’s expansive RICO anti-racketeering law.

But ultimately its greatest significance might be a result of simple transparency. If and when the case does go to trial in Atlanta’s Fulton County, it will almost certainly be broadcast on live TV. That could be a benefit at a time when disinformation has helped split U.S. politics into entrenched partisan positions.

“The American people should be able to see this evidence and weigh the case for themselves,” says Anthony Michael Kreis, an assistant professor at the Georgia State University College of Law.

It may be the last indictment of former President Donald Trump on serious charges this year. But it is likely far from the least.

In the end, the racketeering case against Mr. Trump and 18 others handed up by an Atlanta grand jury on Monday night could be the most consequential of all the legal threats the ex-president currently faces, according to some legal experts.

In part, that’s due to its sweep. The Georgia indictment features 13 counts against Mr. Trump and 41 counts overall. It charges top Trump allies such as lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows with participating in a conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Why We Wrote This

The sweeping racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 18 associates underscores the central role of states in running elections – and places Georgia at the center of an alleged national conspiracy.

The case also underscores the central role states play in elections. The Constitution gives states the responsibility of running elections for federal office. Many states have laws directly applicable to the sort of election obstructions that Mr. Trump and his allies allegedly engaged in. The Atlanta charges are based on Georgia’s uniquely expansive RICO anti-racketeering law, for instance.

But ultimately its greatest significance might be a result of simple transparency. If and when the case does go to trial in Atlanta’s Fulton County, it will almost certainly be broadcast on live TV, says Anthony Michael Kreis, an assistant professor at the Georgia State University College of Law.

That could be a benefit for the nation at a time when disinformation has helped split U.S. politics into entrenched partisan positions, he says.



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