Georgia grand jury indicts Trump, Giuliani, Mark Meadows, 16 others for 2020 election 'criminal enterprise'

A grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others people late Monday on charges that they collectively engaged in a corrupt "criminal enterprise" to overturn Georgia's 2020 election for president. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is charging them under Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), typically used to prosecute organized crime. This is Trump's fourth criminal indictment in four months.

The 97-page indictment alleges 41 counts of racketeering, conspiracy to commit forgery, perjury, illegally breaching voting equipment, and other state charges. Trump himself faces 13 felony counts. His 18 codefendants include his final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and members of his campaign and legal team, including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Ken Chesebro, and John Eastman.

Jeffrey Clark, a top Justice Department officials at the time of the alleged conspiracy, was also charged, as were three of the 16 people who signed and submitted bogus Electoral College votes for Trump: former Georgia GOP chairman David Shafer, state Sen. Shawn Still, and Cathy Latham, former head of the Coffee County GOP. The majority of their fellow fake electors "were known to have taken immunity deals," The New York Times reported.

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Trump lost Georgia by about 12,000 votes. The indictment alleges that "Trump and the other defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump" in Fulton County, elsewhere in Georgia, and in several other states. It lays out eight broad ways the defendants carried out the alleged conspiracy and then breaks it down into 161 distinct acts.

Willis said at a news conference late Monday that she is giving all 19 defendants until "no later than noon" on Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender. She said she intends to try all 19 defendants together, and will ask the judge assigned to the case to set a "trial date within the next six months." When asked about Trump's allegation — in this case and others — that he is being charged for political reasons as he runs for president again, Willis said she makes decisions "based on the facts and the law," and "the law is completely nonpartisan." She underscored that this is the 11th RICO case she has brought in her two-and-a-half years as D.A.

The sprawling case in Fulton County "stands apart from the more tightly targeted case brought by special counsel Jack Smith, which so far only names Trump as a defendant," The Associated Press reported. "The Georgia case also stands out because, unlike the two federal prosecutions he faces, Trump would not have the opportunity to try to pardon himself if elected president" or appoint an attorney general who "who could theoretically make it go away."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.