In a first in America’s history, a former president and current candidate is facing 91 charges in four criminal cases.
Thirteen new charges were added Monday when a Georgia grand jury, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, moved to indict the former president.
Former President Trump has denied the charges and claims Willis is exercising political bias in the case. Trump claims his assertion regarding bias was supported when Willis’ office inadvertently posted indictment charges on their website before the grand jury completed its work.
The latest felony charges against the former president include racketeering, conspiracy, issuing false statements and requesting a public official to breach their oath.
The 98-page indictment not only implicates Trump but also names several of his close allies and associates. These include Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark along with 15 others, making a total of 19 defendants.
Willis has expressed her intent to bring all 19 defendants to trial. She has provided them with a voluntary surrender deadline of August 25, 2023, and is aiming to initiate the trial within the subsequent six months.
The New York Post reported that the most serious of the charges carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Should the case proceed, Willis could make history as the first to prosecute an ex-American president. “Willis’ prosecution adds 13 charges to Trump’s existing criminal indictments, totaling 91 charges across four cases.”
Apart from the above, Trump is also facing legal challenges on other fronts:
- Trump faces 40 felony charges regarding the improper storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The trial for this case is expected to commence on May 20, 2024.
- Trump has been charged with four counts related to the January 6 protest and breach of the Capitol and alleged efforts to suppress the results of the 2020 election. Charges include conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and obstruction of an official procedure.
- Trump has also been indicted concerning payments termed as “hush money” to Stormy Daniels. In this case, he faces 34 counts, specifically for the falsification of business records. Each of the 34 charges is punishable by up to four years in prison. A civil trial is scheduled in state court for October.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James has also initiated a civil action suit against Trump. James alleges Trump and his children were untruthful regarding their net worth and inflated the value of assets to obtain a business tax advantage.
- In another case, Trump is appealing a 2022 defamation case ruling that sided with E. Jean Carroll. Notably, Trump has consistently pleaded not guilty to all current criminal cases and has repudiated any wrongdoing.
CNN reported the indictment also charges Rudy Giuliani, a prominent lawyer and one of Trump’s key allies, with 13 counts including racketeering, delivering false statements and collaborating with fake electors. The document lists 30 individuals who, while not indicted, are identified as co-conspirators.
Vox News summarized the charges Trump faces:
Four felony counts. They include:
- Charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which includes plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election
- Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, including plotting to prevent the 2020 election certification
- Obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, which includes actually blocking the certification of the 2020 election results
- Conspiracy against rights, which includes a plan to deprive someone of a constitutional right (in this case, that is the ability to vote)
Potential jail time per count:
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States: 5 years
- Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding: 20 years
- Obstructing an official proceeding: 20 years
- Conspiracy against the right to vote: 10 years
Willis is being hailed as a villain and a hero. As the legal processes unfold, the country will watch closely to see how the justice system addresses charges against a former president and his associates.
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