Fulton County, Georgia district attorney Fani Willis held a press conference discussing former President Donald Trump’s Georgia indictment.
Trump has been indicted over allegations of violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Eighteen others have been charged along with the former President over the RICO Act and other alleged acts to conspire in regards to the 2020 Presidential Election.
This is the former president’s fourth indictment this year.
Every individual charged, including Trump, is charged with one count of violating the RICO Act in Fulton County and elsewhere “to accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J Trump to seize the presidential term of office, beginning on January, 2021,” said Willis.
“Specifically, the participants in association took various actions in Georgia and elsewhere to block the counting of the votes of the presidential electors who were certified as the winners of Georgia’s 2020 general election,” the Fulton County DA continued. “As you examine the indictment, you will see acts that are identified as overt acts, and those that are identified as predicate acts, sometimes called acts of racketeering activity. Overt acts are not necessarily crimes under Georgia law in isolation, but are alleged to be acts taken in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
Although many alleged acts to conspire took place in Georgia, the indictment notes some acts occurred in other jurisdictions. The separate alleged acts in other jurisdictions are included in the Fulton County indictment because “the grand jury believes they were part of the illegal effort to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.”
“The acts identified as predicate acts or acts of racketeering activity are crimes that are alleged to have been committed in furtherance of the criminal enterprise acts the racketeering activity are also charged as separate counts in the indictment against those who are alleged to have committed them,” she added.
“All elections in our nation are administered by the states, which are given the responsibility of ensuring a fair process and an accurate counting of the votes,” the Fulton County DA said, adding the sentiment extended to presidential electors. “Congress, state officials and local offices. The state’s role in this process is essential to the functioning of our democracy.”
Willis noted Georgia law grants elections to be contested because of intentional or unintentional error in state courts.
“The indictment alleges that rather than by abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result subsequent to the indictment, as is the normal process in Georgia law,” she said. “The grand jury issued arrest warrants for those who are charged.”
Defendants have been given the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Aug. 25, Willis said.
“I remind everyone here that an indictment is only a series of allegations based on a grand jury’s determination of probable cause to support the charges,” she concluded. “It is now the duty of my office to prove these charges in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”
All 19 defendants will be tried together.
One reporter questioned the Fulton County DA on the leaked indictment Monday afternoon, though Willis did not answer.
“No, I can’t tell you anything about what you refer to,” she said. “What I can tell you is that we had a grand jury here in Fulton County, they deliberated till almost 8:00, if not right after 8:00, an indictment was returned.”
“It was true build and we now have an indictment. I am not an expert on clerks, duties, or even administrative duties,” she continued. “I wouldn’t know how to work that system. And so I’m not going to speculate.”
Following the document’s retraction, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office said in a statement that no charges had been filed against Trump, per Reuters.
“The Reuters report that those charges were filed is inaccurate. Beyond that we cannot comment,” a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office told the outlet.
Charges voted on by the grand jury matched charges listed on the original document obtained by Reuters.