my fellow americans. today was an extremely funny day for our great nation. pic.twitter.com/U7TBeRv6o2
— Jean-Michel Connard ?? (@torriangray) August 15, 2023
Hillary Clinton gets the last laugh. pic.twitter.com/g4eSKhlZUV
— Aaron Parnas (@AaronParnas) August 15, 2023
Hillary Clinton on Maddow, “Holding him accountable could happen in a number of ways… prison [represses laughter] is obviously is one of them.”
Hillary said let me not laugh at Mr. Lock Her Up rn pic.twitter.com/AiVOhR2FQT
— José (@josecanyousee) August 15, 2023
Hillary Clinton: "I don't know that anybody should be satisfied. This is a terrible moment for our country to have a former president accused of these terribly important crimes. The only satisfaction may be that the system is working." pic.twitter.com/F6t4fkqLiu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 15, 2023
Data-rich update from the Washington Post, company paper for the town where national politics is the main industry — [unpaywalled gif link]:
ATLANTA — Former president Donald Trump and 18 others were criminally charged in Georgia on Monday in connection with efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state, according to an indictment made public late Monday night.
Trump was charged with 13 counts, including violating the state’s racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery in the first degree and conspiring to file false documents.
The historic indictment, the fourth to implicate the former president, follows a 2½-year investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D). The probe was launched after audio leaked from a January 2021 phone call during which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to question the validity of thousands of ballots, especially in the heavily Democratic Atlanta area, and said he wanted to “find” the votes to erase his 2020 loss in the state.
Willis’s investigation quickly expanded to other alleged efforts by Trump or his supporters, including trying to thwart the electoral college process, harassing election workers, spreading false information about the voting process in Georgia and compromising election equipment in a rural county. Trump has long decried the Georgia investigation as a “political witch hunt,” defending his calls to Raffensperger and others as “perfect.”…
Willis had signaled for months that she planned to use Georgia’s expansive anti-racketeering statutes, which allow prosecutors not only to charge in-state wrongdoing but to use activities in other states to prove criminal intent in Georgia. The statute is broader than federal law in terms of how prosecutors can define a criminal enterprise or conspiracy.
The indictment alleges that the enterprise “constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities including, but not limited to, false statements and writings, impersonating a public officer, forgery, filing false documents, influencing witnesses, computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the state [and] acts involving theft and perjury.” The indictment takes an expansive view of the behaviors it alleges were acts “in furtherance of the conspiracy” — including, as an example, at least a dozen instances of Trump’s tweets alleging fraud and other claims. Such details from the indictment quickly drew criticism as potential violations of the defendants’ free speech protections…
Trump has intensified his attacks on Willis and other prosecutors examining his activities, describing them as “vicious, horrible people” and “mentally sick.” He has referred to Willis, who is Black, as the “racist DA from Atlanta.” His 2024 campaign included her in a recent video attacking prosecutors investigating Trump. Willis has generally declined to respond directly to Trump’s attacks, but in a rare exception, she said in an email last week sent to the entire district attorney’s office that Trump’s ad contained “derogatory and false information about me,” and ordered her employees to ignore it.
“You may not comment in any way on the ad or any of the negativity that may be expressed against me, your colleagues, this office in coming days, weeks or months,” Willis wrote in the email, obtained by The Washington Post. “We have no personal feelings against those we investigate or prosecute and we should not express any. This is business, it will never be personal.”
Still, Willis has repeatedly raised concerns about security as her investigation has progressed, citing Trump’s “alarming” rhetoric and the racist threats she and her staff have received. Willis is often accompanied by armed guards at public appearances, and security at her office and her residence was increased even more in recent days ahead of the expected charging announcement, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive security matters.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has given Donald Trump and the 18 others charged in relation to Trump’s efforts to retain power after losing the 2020 election “no later than noon” on Aug. 25 to turn themselves in voluntarily—or face arrest. https://t.co/z04UZ8yxKk
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 15, 2023
My guess is that Fani Willis is charging all 19 defendants together so that some of them will feel the pressure and cut a deal with the prosecution to testify against Trump. https://t.co/SmJhBLwPGx
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 15, 2023
Another excellent WaPo story — “4 things revealed by Trump’s Georgia indictment”:
… The indictment features 41 counts — 13 against Trump — and charges against Trump-aligned lawyers including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The core of the indictment, a racketeering charge, implicates all 19 defendants.
That brings the total number of criminal charges this year against the runaway front-runner in the GOP presidential primary to 91…
1. The ‘co-conspirators’ do get indicted — in Georgia, at least
The biggest way in which this indictment isn’t like the others? The Trump allies it ensnared.
Those 18 include five of the six unindicted co-conspirators from the federal indictment, most notably former New York mayor and federal prosecutor Giuliani, who faces 13 counts of his own….
2. The indictment focuses on false statements, oaths
A core Trump defense in the federal Jan. 6 case is the idea that he was merely exercising free speech.
But that defense won’t work as easily in Georgia, which has a broad prohibition against making “a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation … in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government.”…
Another frequently included crime is solicitation of violation of public oath by a public officer. Essentially, this amounts to asking someone to violate their sworn duties, including by asking them to help overturn a legitimate election result. The most notable example: Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) during which he told Raffensperger he needed to “find” just enough votes to overturn the result. Meadows was also indicted over his role in the call…
3. The crimes allegedly went well past Jan. 6
One of the more striking details comes in the 38th and 39th counts — the last charges against Trump — which date to Sept. 17, 2021, nearly eight months after Trump left office.
The charge has to do with a letter Trump sent to Raffensperger in which he enclosed a report alleging that 43,000 ballots in Atlanta-based DeKalb County were not properly handled using chain-of-custody rules. Trump suggested that Raffensperger “start the process of decertifying the election, or whatever the correct legal remedy is, and announce the true winner.”…
4. The political impact might not be the trial
The prosecution of Trump and the others in Fulton County will stand out for one distinct reason: Unlike the federal trials (unless the rules change), it should be televised.
That will seemingly bring a measure of transparency to the high-stakes proceedings and create appointment viewing — just as the House Jan. 6 committee hearings did last year but potentially with even greater numbers…
The fact that so many media outlets are just playing past this is a testament to how so many have normalized how Trump targets law officials. What he’s doing to target Judge Chutkan & D.A. Willis is horrifying. And should not be ignored. https://t.co/XY4GutKoEc
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@SIfill_) August 15, 2023
Something the CNN panel isn’t saying as they wonder why Georgia: it was controlled by conservative Republicans. PA, Mich, etc had Democratic governors and secretaries of states.
— Brian Rosenwald (@brianros1) August 15, 2023
CREW statement notes the charges in the Georgia case are among the most important ones facing Trump:
"As they are state crimes, no future president can interfere to attempt to make them disappear."
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) August 15, 2023
It’s barely a minute. You’ve probably already seen it. But please watch it again.
Ruby Freeman & Shaye Moss are heroes. I pray that tonight they feel safer. https://t.co/Qgms1DUVi1
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) August 15, 2023
I hope that tomorrow Ruby Freeman goes to the grocery store, that people recognize her, that she welcomes people saying her name, that she holds her head high, & that she feels good.
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) August 15, 2023
This clip might be embarrassing, if the widely circulated rumors about Graham flipping to save his own skin are true…
It *was* decided at the ballot box. Trump lost.
Then he tried to decide it via lawsuit. He lost all those too.
Then he tried to decide it illegitimately and illegally, conspiring to defraud the people of Georgia, and the country, out of their election results.
That’s the problem. https://t.co/XY1SeUxaCh
— Nicholas Grossman (@NGrossman81) August 15, 2023
Holy shit Hannity booked Paul Manafort tonight to talk about how the justice system has been weaponized. pic.twitter.com/9BAuQ6n9vN
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) August 15, 2023