United States: High-profile congressional hearings and an unprecedented FBI raid on his home have resulted in increased legal pressure on Donald Trump, but analysts believe a low-profile, slow-moving move in Georgia That investigation may be what ultimately brings him down.
As he prepares to make a third bid for the presidency in 2024, the state is under scrutiny for the former president's efforts to quash the results of the 2020 election, where he lost to Joe Biden by less than 12,000 votes. Had gone. As the first Republican presidential candidate to lose Georgia in nearly three decades, the 76-year-old immediately cried foul.
However, after three presidential vote counts and dismissal of several lawsuits, there was no significant evidence of voter fraud in the decisive swing state.
Still, Trump has repeatedly intervened in Georgian politics, in a famous audio recording of a phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ordered to "search" enough votes to overthrow Biden's victory.
Trump's post-election behavior in the state, according to a group of legal experts at the Brookings Institution, "leaves him at substantial risk of potential state charges based on multiple offenses," experts wrote in October last year.
A special grand jury was put together in May by Fulton County's top prosecutor Fannie Willis to look into efforts by Trump and his allies to quash Georgia's election results.
According to legal experts, the investigation, which could last a full year, could result in Trump being charged with solicitation and conspiracy related to election interference and fraud.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute in Georgia, commonly used to capture mob figures, could also be used to prosecute the former president, who denies all wrongdoing. Huh.
Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has already given important testimony to Willis, who has informed him that he is the subject of criminal investigators.
A judge on Monday ordered Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to testify after the midterm election in November. Kemp has been repeatedly reprimanded by President Trump for authenticating the results of the 2020 election, which was his legal duty.
The grand jury has already heard testimony from Riffensperger and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who were pressured by Trump to challenge the state's vote count.
Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff for Trump, is denying his own subpoena, as is Lindsey Graham, the former president's senatorial aide, who refutes claims that he improperly sent legitimate mail to Georgia. It was suggested to throw these ballots.
Trump should be concerned about his own legal risk, according to Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "Willis seeking testimony from additional aides of Donald Trump, including Mark Meadows, is an indication of how serious this investigation is," the bookbinder said on Twitter on Friday.
Kevin O'Brien, a former assistant US attorney who now specializes in white-collar criminal defense, issued a warning that an impressive witness list does not guarantee a successful prosecution.
According to O'Brien, state prosecutors typically lack the expertise of the federal Department of Justice in conducting white-collar investigations, and he suggested taking a "wait-and-see" approach to the prospect of filing charges.
"The pudding test will happen," he said. Trump has so far avoided being held responsible for his actions, whether in Georgia or elsewhere.
However, according to other experts, the Georgia investigation differs significantly from the federal investigation in important ways, which could increase the likelihood of a federal Justice Department prosecuting the indictment.
Conservative commentator David French, a former lawyer, thinks Trump could be charged with crimes related to the 2021 insurgency, but he has long believed Georgia posed the greatest risk to Trump.
In a recent episode of the news podcast The Fifth Column, he said, "You can take some criminal statute—both Georgia and federal—and just match it pretty much to your conduct.
"I put it this way: If he were the sheriff of a small town, he probably would have been charged earlier if he called the county election commissioner and threatened to arrest him if he didn't get 50 more votes. Will go
However, he was the first President of the United States of America. Indicting him is a very, very strange deal. And while I don't know if it will happen, Georgia has always seemed like a huge risk to her.