September 27, 2022

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The Georgia investigation into the 2020 election is dangerous for Trump

If the FBI search of his home and the public hearings of the congressional investigation into the Capitol storming have intensified the pressure on Donald Trump, it is the investigation in the US state of Georgia that could spell his downfall. experts.

The investigation into the former president’s efforts to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in this southern state has come under close scrutiny in the political arena, especially as he flirts more and more openly with the idea of ​​a new candidacy in 2024.

After his defeat, Donald Trump — who narrowly lost Georgia to Joe Biden — immediately denounced election fraud. Despite three new accounts, no evidence of large-scale fraud was found and his group’s complaints were dismissed.

But the 76-year-old Republican asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger in a publicized phone call to “find” 12,000 votes in his favor to change the ballot’s outcome.

In a memo released in October 2021, lawyers for the Brookings Institution think tank believed the billionaire in this key state was at “significant prosecution risk.”

Fannie Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, empaneled a grand jury in May to determine whether there is enough evidence to indict Donald Trump.

“legal risk”

At the end of the lengthy investigation, legal experts said the former president could be charged with electoral fraud and interference.

Mr. Denies any wrongdoing. Trump could be prosecuted under a law routinely used to bring down members of the Mafia.

Fannie Willis has already been able to gather testimony from people in the former real estate magnate’s inner circle, particularly his former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who is the subject of a criminal investigation.

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The judge also required Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, who was slammed by Donald Trump for certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, to testify after the November 2022 legislative elections.

Brad Raffensberger and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who has been under pressure from the former president, have already been heard by a grand jury.

Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is in the crosshairs of justice, as is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the ex-president, accused of suggesting that mail-in votes in Georgia should not be counted. He refuses.

“Soliciting testimony from people close to Donald Trump, including Fannie Willis and Mark Meadows, shows the seriousness of this investigation and how concerned Trump should be about the risk of prosecution,” the committee’s chairman, Noah Bookbinder, tweeted. Corrupt Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

A list of key witnesses doesn’t guarantee the prosecution will have a solid foundation, however, New York attorney and former federal prosecutor Kevin O’Brien points out.

“The Big Threat”

State prosecutors typically have less expertise than the judiciary and may opt for a “wait-and-see approach,” O’Brien said.

“So far, Donald Trump has managed to avoid all responsibility for his actions, whether in Georgia or elsewhere,” he added.

But for some experts, the trial in Georgia is separate from the Justice Department’s investigation and has a better chance of leading to an indictment.

For David French, a conservative political analyst, Georgia is the main risk of legal action for the former president.

“Let’s say he’s the sheriff of a small town, he calls an official who oversees the district election and says, ‘I need 50 more votes, or you can go to jail. “”, Donald Trump may have already been charged. Explained on his podcast Fifth Column.

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“But he is a former president of the United States. Blaming him is a big deal. I don’t know if that will happen, but, in my opinion, Georgia has always been the biggest threat to him,” he continued.