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Atlanta DA Willis Makes Biggest Criminal Case Against Trump So Far

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charged Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants with 41 criminal counts in their effort to change the 2020 election results in their favor. It was the most sprawling and complex criminal case against Trump so far.

The former president faces 13 counts, including racketeering, false statements and soliciting a public servant to violate their oath.

Trump is likely to claim that his right to free speech and genuine concerns about voter fraud protect him from the charges.

Legal experts say the case appears to be a straightforward fraud prosecution that will turn on whether Trump knowingly broke the law, regardless of whether he believed his actions were justified, Reuters reports.

"Even if he thought he had a right to do what he did, that doesn't justify fraudulent activity," said former federal prosecutor E. Danya Perry. "If you believe money in someone else's bank account is rightfully yours, that doesn't mean you can embezzle it."

The scope of the case presents a sharp contrast with the indictments rolled out last month by federal special counsel Jack Smith, Axios reports..

Smith's case narrowly charged Trump as a sole defendant, with six unidentified co-conspirators. Willis' case uses Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges that tie together 161 acts, with 19 defendants and 30 un-indicted co-conspirators, across 7 states and Washington, D.C.

RICO trials are legendarily long affairs, and the Georgia case it carries the potential for 19 defendants' lawyers clogging up the process.

Willis wants to try the defendants together and to start trial within the next six months.

Willis' resume includes successfully prosecuting a RICO case in the Atlanta public schools system.

Trump knocked Willis after the indictment was made public as “out of control and very corrupt.”

He said Willis "campaigned and raised money on, 'I will get Trump.,' "

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was charged and repeatedly cited in the indictment. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was also charged, as were members of Trump's legal team at the time.

11 individuals with other ties to the effort were also named, including fake GOP electors.

The indictment alleges that members of the "criminal enterprise" unlawfully accessed voting equipment and voter data in Georgia and distributed that stolen data to members in other states.

Trump's legal team said, "We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment, which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been."


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