Mar 22, 2023

What We Know About the Georgia Investigation Into Trump

Establishment media and legal experts have argued that the case will likely lead to an indictment of Trump, but we haven’t seen much evidence yet.
What We Know About the Georgia Investigation Into Trump

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By Hudson Crozier

Updated August 24, 2023: A previous version of this article failed to distinguish Trump's separate phone calls with two Georgia election officials.

What's happening: Georgia prosecutors are reportedly considering conspiracy and racketeering charges in their investigation of former President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to thwart the 2020 election. While much of the evidence in the case remains concealed from the public, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has centered the case around a debunked media hoax.

The “find the fraud” hoax: Based on one anonymous source, The Washington Post reported in January 2021 that Trump told Georgia’s secretary of state's office to “find the fraud” in a phone call, later retracting the story. Another media narrative was that Trump told the secretary himself to "find" votes. Transcripts showed that Trump wanted the state to find evidence of fraud that he believed existed, not fabricate votes in his favor. But the fake narrative has persisted ever since: D.A. Willis told the Georgia court in August that the second phone call is “a central focus” of her case.

Other possible evidence: Jurors told the media that they listened to a phone call where Trump pressured Georgia’s House speaker to hold a special session to overturn the projected election results. The speaker disagreed with Trump over the legality of this strategy, so Trump thanked him and ended the discussion. It’s unclear whether prosecutors will try to prove that these or other conversations were threatening or otherwise illegal. The grand jury also heard testimony from the “fake electors,” the 16 people who submitted alternate certifications of Trump victories to the Electoral College.

Big picture: Establishment media and legal experts have argued that the Georgia case is more likely to lead to an indictment of Trump than the more prominent Stormy Daniels case in New York City, and a juror said the evidence in the unreleased grand jury report is “massive.” Trump’s defense has demanded that the court throw out the report, alleging multiple procedural flaws and “constitutional violations.”

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