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Why the Georgia indictment hits different for Trump
Plus, details on when the former president and the 18 co-defendants named in the indictment must surrender to state authorities and the reaction from top Democrats on the latest charges.
CONNECT FOUR • Former President Donald Trump was indicted on 13 counts by a Georgia grand jury for his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in one of several states President Joe Biden flipped to limit Trump to one term. The charges include racketeering, allegedly making false statements, and conspiracy to use fake electors to remain in power. Read the full indictment
It’s the fourth such action taken by a state or federal jurisdiction against the former president for a litany of alleged crimes as long as a Walgreens receipt.
But this particular indictment is notable for three reasons:
Similar to the New York state hush-money case, the first indictment handed down in April, the Georgia charges are for state crimes. Even if Trump were to win the presidency in 2024, he would be unable to issue himself a federal pardon to wipe away a conviction.
Although Georgia is led by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, he has no pardon power to absolve Trump if the former president is convicted.
Georgia trials are televised unless ruled otherwise by the judge so this could be the first time court proceedings involving the former president are televised.
18 other associates were also charged in the nearly 100-page indictment along with 30 unindicted co-conspirators for conspiring to allow Trump to seize the presidency despite losing in a free and fair election.
Among those charged with Trump: Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows … former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani … attorneys John Eastman, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis … former attorney general Jeffrey Clark
Another detail to note: Trump will receive a mugshot, the Fulton County sheriff said late Monday night. If true, this is a departure from the arraignments in the three other cases and would be a blow to the former president’s ability to manipulate his public image.
THE REACTIONS • In a joint statement released after the indictment was made public, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said the latest indictment demonstrates a repeated pattern of criminal activity by the former president and details a months-long plot to not only steal an election but also undermine American democracy and overturn the will of Georgians.
“The actions taken by the Fulton County District Attorney, along with other state and federal prosecutors, reaffirms the shared belief thag in America no one, not even the president is a over the law,” Schumer and Jeffries added. “As a nation built on the rule of law, we urge Mr. Trump and his supporters and his critics to allow the legal process to proceed without outside interference.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chair of the January 6th Committee that investigated the insurrection at the US Capitol former President Trump incited, said in a statement that the investigation he led revealed what the indictment confirmed.
“The ex-President’s playbook to cling to power also included an attempt to use fake slates of electors to undo the will of the people,” Thompson said. “Tonight’s indictments are part of a long journey to bring accountability for a multi-part conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s election results, which threatened the lives and livelihoods of brave election workers, like Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, who make American democracy work.”
The Trump campaign—and House Republicans including Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)—responded with the company line we’ve heard before: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, like the other prosecutors before her, is weaponizing the government to interfere with the 2024 presidential campaign on behalf of President Joe Biden because Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nominee.
This is a weak argument. It ignores the fact that a grand jury of people from each of the communities where the alleged crimes took place returned the indictments.
Also, in each case, Trump has been buried by current or former members of his inner circle and other Republicans—not so-called deep-state operatives pulling strings behind the scenes.
And finally, President Biden is the only person to defeat Trump to date. He did so with more electoral votes in 2020 than Trump won in 2016 to defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The 2024 election is likely to be close again. There’s no guarantee Biden will win again. But the campaign is looking forward to a rematch with Trump instead—not afraid of it.
Told you so: Speaking of Clinton, she warned the country that Trump would shatter US democratic norms if given the chance. But in a perfectly timed interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday night
“I don’t feel any satisfaction,” Clinton said as the country waited for the indictments to be made public. “I feel just great profound sadness that we have a former president that has been indicted for so many charges that went to the heart of whether or not our democracy would survive.
Clinton added the only solace she took from the event is that the Trump indictment proves the justice system works.
COUNTDOWN TO AUG 25 • Arrest warrants for Trump and the 18 co-defendants have been issued but District Attorney Willis said during a press conference late Monday night that they have until Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender in Georgia.
Willis also said she would try all 19 defendants in a trial that she hoped begins within the next six months.
“An indictment is only a series of allegations based on a grand jury’s determination of probable cause to support the charges,” Willis said. “It is now the duty of my office to prove these charges in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.”
👋🏾 HI, HEY, HELLO! Good Tuesday morning. It’s August 15, 2023. Thank you for reading Supercreator Daily, your guide to the politicians, power brokers, and policies shaping the American creator experience. What questions do you have about the Georgia Trump indictment? Get in touch: email@example.com.
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All times Eastern
9 a.m. President Biden will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
9:10 a.m. Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will leave Washington to travel to Seattle, arriving at 2:10 p.m.
10:20 a.m. The president will leave the White House to travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, arriving at 12:25 p.m.
10:45 a.m. The Senate will meet for a pro forma session.
11 a.m. The House will meet for a pro forma session.
1:05 p.m. President Biden will participate in a tour of Ingeteam, Inc., a clean-energy manufacturing company.
2 p.m. The president will speak about Bidenomics.
3 p.m. Vice President Harris will speak about the administration’s climate investments. She will be joined by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
3:20 p.m. President Biden will leave Milwaukee to return to the White House, arriving at 5:20 p.m.
3:50 p.m. The vice president will get a briefing on energy-efficient upgrades made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.
5:05 p.m. Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Emhoff will speak at a campaign reception.
6:35 p.m. The vice president and second gentleman will travel from Seattle to Los Angeles, arriving at 8:45 p.m.
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