According to people briefed on the matter, the district attorney in Fulton County, investigating Donald Trump and his effort to invalidate the 2020 election results in Georgia, has considered charging under several statutes.
The criminal investigation has reached a pivotal point, with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis suggesting prosecutors are on track to ask a grand jury to issue indictments next month.
Prosecutors were looking into several possible violations of state election law.
According to two people, the DA is also looking to charge Trump with computer trespassing because his agents gained unauthorized access to voting machines and copied critical election data in Coffee County, Georgia, in January 2021.
It is unclear what will come of the discussions or how the laws will be implemented. Prosecutors may choose to bring charges under a variety of different laws, or they may combine them into a larger racketeering case.
The district attorney instructed her employees in May to work from home due to possible security issues, suggesting that charges related to the Trump probe would be brought sometime in early August.
Prosecutors alleging criminal solicitation would have to prove that Trump made repeated requests for another individual to commit acts of illegality that were “likely and imminent” due to the solicitation. It is not a defense that the requested actions were not performed.
Trump may have violated the law of inducing a public official to fail their job by pressuring Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” and by calling Watson, Ralston, and Watson.
The primary issue is whether, had Raffensperger done what Trump asked, for example, if he went and “found” 11,780 ballots to overturn Trump’s defeat, he would have failed to do his duties as the state’s top election official, as stated by the Brookings Institution.
Meanwhile, Trump may have violated the legislation for encouraging the manipulation of votes when he urged Watson to do signature checks going back “two years, as opposed to just checking, you know, one against the other” during ballot audits.
According to Brookings, the primary question in that discussion would be whether or whether Trump was urging Watson to use an unconventional approach to reject legal ballots in the hopes that doing so would assist him by reducing the number of valid votes for Joe Biden.
Although Willis said in January that charging decisions were “imminent,” the probe has been extended many times because some Republicans who tried to assist Trump remain in power as “fake electors” accepted immunity bargains.