Donald Trump indicted, again.
Just like the last one, this one is about him contesting the results of the 2020 election. And it is largely based on a Georgia State law against racketeering – a law typically used to target mobsters. Prosecutor Fani Willis alleges Trump’s public and private comments that he had actually won Georgia’s electoral votes, that ballots were fraudulently cast for Joe Biden, that election officials had allegedly manipulated votes in favor of Biden, and more were all part of a criminal scheme by the then-president and his cronies to steal the election.
She zeroes in on Trump’s efforts to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to go along with a proposal devised by his attorneys to swing the election in his favor after the vote. The plan laid out in a memo written by attorney John Eastman and another lawyer, both of whom are now indicted, suggest that Team Trump could get Pence to disregard the electoral votes in several swing states and to instead recognize so called “fake” or “alternate slates” of electors from such states that would then cast their electoral votes for Trump instead of Biden.
The rationale was that the actual votes coming out of those states were allegedly not to be trusted and, therefore, the real winner (read: Trump) was entitled to the support of the electors. This is also part of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s January 6 indictment that came down earlier this month.
As expected, Willis casts certain phone calls as criminal – including one from January 2, 2021, in which Trump spoke to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and eight others. He said the following.
“What are we going to do here folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.”– President Donald Trump, January 2, 2021
This is the sentence that has been news for two years as alleged proof positive that Trump was behaving criminally. It’s not anywhere close to the focus of Fani Willis’ indictment. If you listen to the whole transcript between Trump and these nine people on the phone call, he wasn’t saying, ‘Go make up votes.’ He was saying, ‘There’s been massive voter fraud. You only have to look until you find me the number that would put me over the top and then I will stop contesting.’ Willis thinks that was a crime. She thinks the follow up comments on that call – which she does zero in on – were a crime. That includes this comment:
“We won very substantially in Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly… We have at least two or three – anywhere from 250 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that has to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures, a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County, you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand forged signatures of people with, who have been forged. And we are quite sure that’s going to happen.”– President Donald Trump, January 2, 2021
He’s saying “we think,” “this is our opinion,” “you should check.” It’s a crime, according to Willis. These are just a few examples of the behavior Willis, an elected Democrat prosecutor, says amounted to a criminal attempt to unlawfully change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
In all, there are 13 counts against Trump, including violation of the Georgia RICO statute (i.e. the racketeering count), as well as solicitation of violation of an oath by a public officer and several alleged conspiracies, like conspiracy to commit the impersonation of a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to commit false statements, and conspiracy to commit filing false documents.
Eighteen others have also been indicted. They are the men and women who assisted Trump in these efforts – lawyers, alternate electors, people who arranged phone calls for Trump to state election officials in swing states other than Georgia, a publicist… I could go on. They’re all accused of assisting Trump in this alleged corrupt conspiracy and they have also thrown in allegations of misconduct, including the unlawful breach of election equipment in Georgia and elsewhere.
That is based on Trump’s allies pursuant to a plan allegedly hatched by Rudy Giuliani to access the voting machines and voter data after the election. They were allowed into a facility in a Trump-friendly Georgia county to do this, to kick the tires with the Dominion voting machines, by Trump-friendly election supervisors – one of who is also now indicted.
The case has been assigned to Judge Scott McAfee. He was appointed to the bench six months ago by Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp. The prosecutor said last night she hopes to try this within the next six months, notwithstanding the fact that it apparently took her two and a half years to prepare her case. Prep time for me, but not for thee it would appear. Here is some of what she said:
“I am giving the defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday the 25th day of August 2023… I don’t have any desire to be first or last. I want to try him and be respectful for our sovereign states. 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… Do I intend to try the 19 defendants of this indictment together? Yes.”– Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, August 14, 2023
Good luck with that, Ms. Willis.
You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to episode 608 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.