Donald Trump has been indicted again… again… again. This time by a grand jury in Georgia, which charged the ex-president, along with 18 other defendants, with felony racketeering and numerous conspiracy charges in a 98-page, 41-count indictment issued late last night after a nearly two-year investigation into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State.
Donald Trump and 18 allies were indicted in Georgia on Monday over their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, with prosecutors using a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power.
The nearly 100-page indictment details dozens of acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat, including beseeching Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to find enough votes for him to win the battleground state; harassing an election worker who faced false claims of fraud; and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and appoint a new slate of electoral college electors favorable to Trump.
Fulton County DA Fani Willis charged Trump and his henchmen under the state’s mafia-busting Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is often used to take down organized crime groups, Ponzi and embezzlement schemes, and public corruption cases.
It’s a powerful law enforcement tool. The Georgia RICO statute allows prosecutors to bundle together what may seem to be unrelated crimes committed by a host of different people if those crimes are perceived to be in support of a common objective.
“It allows a prosecutor to go after the head of an organization, loosely defined, without having to prove that that head directly engaged in a conspiracy or any acts that violated state law,” Michael Mears, a law professor at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. “If you are a prosecutor, it’s a gold mine. If you are a defense attorney, it’s a nightmare.”
In response to Trump’s latest indictment, the ex-president’s pesky lesbian niece, bestselling author and all around badass Mary Trump, reminded everyone that organized crime has been her uncle’s modus operandi for the last half a century, ever since he was first took over the family business and was quickly sued for violating the 1968 Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to Black people.
“In fairness, he’s been the head of a criminal organization since the 1970s–this one just includes people who aren’t actually members of his family,” she tweeted late last night.
She followed that up with a longer post on Substack, writing, “I’m still trying to process what’s happened tonight—and obviously there is still a lot we don’t know—but for reasons I can’t yet fully articulate, this feels different from all of the indictments that have come before. This feels pivotal, this feels more real.”
“Go to sleep. Hydrate. Breathe. And remember: Hillary Clinton was right about everything,” she added.
Speaking of Hillary Clinton, she just happened to be on Rachel Maddow‘s show on MSNBC for a live interview at the very moment news of Trump’s latest indictment broke and her immediate response was, well, maybe it’s better if you take a look for yourselves…
Clinton later expressed regret over the whole situation, telling Maddow, “I don’t know that anybody should be satisfied. This is a terrible moment for our country to have a former president accused of these terribly important crimes.”
“The only satisfaction is that the system is working,” she continued. “That all of the efforts by Trump and his allies and enablers to try and silence the truth and undermine democracy have been brought into the light. And justice is being pursued.”
Shortly after indictment was issued, Trump’s camp released a statement saying “the events that have unfolded today have been shocking and absurd, starting with the leak of a presumed and premature indictment before the witnesses had testified or the grand jurors had deliberated and ending with the District Attorney being unable to offer any explanation.”
If convicted, the 77-year-old, one-term, twice-impeach, four-time-indicted ex-president, who has already been indicted in New York, Florida, and Washington, D.C. for his business dealings, handling of classified documents, and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, faces between five and 20 years in prison plus a fine.