Georgia grand jury files indictment investigating Trump’s election tampering

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump campaigns at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on August 12, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Aug 14 (Reuters) – A grand jury in Georgia probing Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss handed up a criminal indictment on Monday, but it was unclear whether the charges involved the former president.

Fulton County Court officials handed the indictments to Judge Robert McBurney but did not make them public.

Media accounts showed images of a cover sheet saying the grand jury had returned 10 indictments, but did not say who was indicted or what charges were filed.

The lawsuit, brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis, could add to the legal problems facing Trump, who is leading the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Fulton County Clerk of Court Chey Alexander told reporters it could take up to three hours to process indictments after they are accepted by a judge.

The court issued a briefA document It listed several of the charges against Trump on its website on Monday, but quickly removed them without explanation. Willis’ office said no charges had been filed at the time and declined to comment further.

During the two-year investigation, Willis examined Trump’s efforts to pressure state leaders to organize illegal voters to reverse his 11,000-vote loss to Democrat Joe Biden and to undermine the process of legitimizing Biden’s victory. He has also observed efforts by Trump allies to tamper with voting equipment in rural Coffee County.

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Willis has said he could implement a fraud law used to go after organized crime syndicates.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and accused Willis, an elected Democrat, of being politically motivated.

Trump, 77, has been criminally indicted three times so far this year, including once on charges that US special counsel Jack Smith tried to overturn his election loss.

He has long dismissed several investigations, including two accusations he faced during his years in politics, of politically motivated “witch hunts.”

Willis could invoke the fraud statute to bring criminal charges against associates who worked with Trump to reverse his defeat.

Prosecutors interviewed 75 witnesses, including Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who asked the state’s top election official to investigate absentee ballots in Democratic precincts after Trump’s defeat.

Other Republicans, such as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, opposed the effort to reverse the decision.

The lawsuit stems from a January 2, 2021 phone call in which Trump urged Raffensberger to “find” enough votes to reverse his narrow loss. Raffensperger refused to do so.

Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol four days later on January 6, in a failed attempt to prevent lawmakers from certifying Biden’s victory.

Once reliably Republican, Georgia has emerged as one of the few politically competitive states that could decide the outcome of presidential elections.

Trump keeps lying about winning the November 2020 election.

His legal troubles have not hurt his political prospects so far, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, with his lead over Republican rivals widening in recent months.

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Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann, Jacqueline Thomsen, Joseph Ax, and Sarah N. Lynch; By Andy Sullivan; Editing by Scott Malone and Howard Koller

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Andy covers politics and policy in Washington. His work has been cited in Supreme Court briefs, political attack ads and at least one Saturday Night Live skit.

Sarah N. Lynch is Reuters’ lead reporter covering the U.S. Justice Department outside Washington, D.C. During her time at the Beatle, she covered everything from the aftermath of the George Floyd protests to the Mueller report and the use of federal agents to suppress protesters. The department’s cases follow the murder, the widespread spread of COVID-19 in prisons and the January 6 attack on the US capital.

Jacqueline Thompson in Washington, DC covers legal news on policy, the courts and the legal profession. Follow her on Twitter at @jacq_thomsen and email her at [email protected].

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