After a two-year investigation into his efforts to reverse his 2020 loss to Joe Biden in the US state of Georgia, Donald Trump was indicted on accusations of racketeering and a slew of election violations on Tuesday.
The lawsuit, which relies on laws traditionally used to bring down mobsters, is the fourth to target the 77-year-old Republican this year and might lead to a historic moment in US history: the first broadcast trial of a former president.
Prosecutors in Atlanta accused Trump with 13 felony counts, adding to the legal challenges he is facing in numerous countries as a blaze of probes threatens his ambition for a second term.
In the probe, eighteen co-defendants were indicted, including Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who pressed local legislators after the election about the outcome, and Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
With Trump already scheduled to stand trial in New York, South Florida, and Washington, the new allegations signal an unusual situation in which the 2024 presidential race will be fought in the courtroom as well as the voting box.
“Rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result,” Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis told reporters.
Willis said Trump and his co-defendants had until noon on August 25 to “voluntarily surrender” to authorities, adding that she would like to go to trial within six months.
“So, the Witch Hunt continues!” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform.
“Sounds Rigged to me! Why didn’t they Indict 2.5 years ago? Because they wanted to do it right in the middle of my political campaign. Witch Hunt!”