Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is making preparations to charge former President Donald Trump with solicitation to commit election fraud and conspiracy to commit election fraud in relation to the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
These charges are part of a broader investigation into Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the election results in the state.
The charges being considered include criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit election fraud, solicitation of a public or political officer to neglect their duties, and solicitation to destroy, deface, or remove ballots.
Furthermore, it is reported in left-wing publication The Guardian that the district attorney is also looking into bringing charges of computer trespass against some of Trump’s associates who allegedly accessed voting machines and copied sensitive election data in Coffee County, Georgia, in January 2021.
The identification of these potential charges is a significant step in the criminal investigation, suggesting that prosecutors might seek indictments from a grand jury as early as next month.
The grand jury responsible for deciding on potential indictments for Trump and others was assembled in mid-July, with oversight from Willis, Deputy District Attorney Will Wooten, and Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade.
To support a criminal solicitation charge, prosecutors would need to demonstrate that Trump persistently requested another person to engage in specific illegal conduct that was likely to happen as a result of the solicitation.
This includes alleged phone calls to Chief Investigator Frances Watson and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, as well as reported pressure on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.”
Last week, reports emerged that Willis was gathering evidence to potentially indict Trump on these charges, including evidence that could support a racketeering indictment based on statutes related to “computer trespass and influencing witnesses.”
It is anticipated that prosecutors will also pursue a criminal conspiracy charge.
In Georgia, the conspiracy statute is broadly interpreted, requiring only that two or more individuals tacitly agree to commit a crime.
The district attorney’s office has spent over two years investigating potential charges against Trump regarding the 2020 election.
A special grand jury in Atlanta, after hearing evidence for around seven months, recommended charges against more than a dozen individuals, including Trump himself.
The 2020 election investigation in Georgia has been marred by controversy, with reported issues such as double voting in the state’s primary, reporting discrepancies in Fulton County, and investigations into the absentee voting system.
The final decision and approach regarding the charges remain uncertain.
They could be pursued individually, incorporated into a broader racketeering case, or a combination of both.
While the announcement of charges stemming from this investigation was initially expected between the end of July and the first two weeks of August, the situation has remained fluid.
In addition to this investigation, Trump’s legal team faces a May 2024 trial date for the former president’s classified documents case, as announced by federal Judge Aileen Cannon.
The prosecutor’s team had sought to have the trial moved up substantially, while Trump’s side wanted to delay the start date until after the 2024 election.
The judge settled on a compromise in her decision.