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Trump May Face Racketeering Indictment in Georgia Election Probe

The prosecutor can reportedly cite state statutes related to influencing witnesses and computer trespass.

Former President Donald Trump prepares to board his jet at the airport after holding a campaign event in nearby Council Bluffs, Iowa, on July 7, 2023, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Fani Willis has amassed enough evidence in the investigation of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to charge a “sprawling racketeering indictment” next month, according to The Guardian.

Willis previously said she was considering racketeering charges but the report adds new details about the scope of the charges prosecutors are expected to seek early next month.

Georgia’s racketeering statute requires prosecutors to show the existence of an “enterprise” and a pattern of racketeering activity predicated on at least two “qualifying” crimes,” The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell explained. In the Trump probe, Willis has evidence to pursue a racketeering indictment predicated on statutes related to influencing witnesses and computer trespass, two sources briefed on the matter told the outlet.

The state’s racketeering statute is more expansive than the federal one because “any attempts to solicit or coerce the qualifying crimes can be included as predicate acts of racketeering activity, even when those crimes cannot be indicted separately,” Lowell explained.

It’s unclear what evidence may be used but the charge related to influencing witnesses could include Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss.

The computer trespass charge, where prosecutors would have to show that defendants improperly used a computer or network to interfere with a program or data, could include a breach of voting machines in Coffee County, the two sources told The Guardian.

A group of Trump operatives funded by former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell accessed the county’s voting machines and copied sensitive data. The data from the Dominion Voting System machines was then uploaded to a site that allowed election deniers to download the materials in an effort to prove Trump’s debunked election fraud conspiracy theories.

Though Coffee County is outside of the Fulton DA’s jurisdiction, the racketeering statute would allow prosecutors to charge Trump operatives over the matter by showing it was part of a larger conspiracy to keep Trump in power.

Texts obtained by CNN showed that operatives hired by Powell also sought to use the data to try to decertify other statewide elections.

Former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin told CNN in April that the texts suggest violations of multiple state and federal laws.

“What we have here is unauthorized access to this privileged computer data,” Zeldin said at the time. “There is a conspiracy to acquire and improperly distribute that data. There is probably a crime of interfering with the rights of the people of Georgia to have a free and fair election. And this is a series of crimes, a pattern of criminal activity, then it could possibly violate the Georgia RICO statute, which criminalizes a series of criminal activities by the same person or group of persons, so there’s a lot at stake here.”

He added that the texts may be even “more damning” than Trump’s call to Raffensperger.

Willis’ investigation has spanned more than two years. A special grand jury in Atlanta heard evidence for seven months and recommended charges against more than a dozen people, the forewoman told media outlets earlier this year. Willis is now presenting evidence to a regular grand jury that has the power to hand down indictments.

Charges from Willis are expected to come in late July or early August.

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