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Donald Trump and 18 others have been charged by Georgia prosecutors with meddling in the 2020 presidential election, the fourth criminal case brought against the former U.S. president in five months.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis obtained a full 98-page document on Monday indictment A grand jury indicted Trump on criminal charges, including violating Georgia’s racketeering law and committing multiple conspiracy.

Charges have also been brought against 18 other defendants, including Rudy Giuliani, who was involved in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 vote, and John Eastman, a constitutional scholar who convinced the former president that when he A theory that Vice President Mike Pence could reject as evidence of Joe Biden winning.

Mark Meadows, chief of staff in the final months of the Trump administration; Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official; and Jenna Ellis, the former president’s attorney, are also listed for the accused.

In the indictment, prosecutors said the former president and the other defendants “constituted a criminal organization” that “refuses to accept that Trump lost and that they knowingly and knowingly participated in a conspiracy to illegally alter the election results in Trump’s favor.” .

At a news conference late Monday night, Willis, a Democrat, denied that the indictment was politically motivated. “We look at the facts, we look at the law, and we make allegations,” she said.

Willis said her office this week will ask the judge to set a trial date within the next six months: “We do want to move forward with this case.” If convicted of the racketeering charges, she said, the accused would serve time in prison.

The state court indictment follows a federal criminal case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice that also relates to alleged interference in the 2020 election in several states.

The election-related charges are one of several criminal cases Trump has tackled across the country during his re-election campaign.

In a statement Monday night, Trump said: “Justice and the Rule of Law are officially dead in America. The Left Wing Attorneys . . . prosecuted me even though I did not commit a crime.

“This marks the fourth election meddling by the Democrats in an attempt to bring the White House under the control of Tricky Joe and jail his biggest opponent in the 2024 election.”

Attorneys representing Eastman, Meadows, Ellis and Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Clark could not immediately be reached for comment.

The former president also faces federal criminal charges for allegedly mishandling sensitive government documents, as well as an indictment filed by the Manhattan district attorney alleging he arranged a scheme involving “hush money” payments to adult film actresses. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all three previous cases.

The Georgia indictment thrust Fulton County prosecutors into the national spotlight as they argue a case of great significance.

Local authorities stepped up security around the courthouse, erecting barricades and closing roads as the grand jury neared its final vote.

In an odd turn on Monday morning, Reuters reported a case transcript on the Fulton County court website that appeared to show an indictment against Trump on multiple charges. But Reuters said the entry was quickly removed, and the district attorney’s office said it had not returned any indictments.

The district attorney’s office later warned that a “fictitious” document was circulating. Trump’s lawyers seized on the incident, saying in a statement that it was “symbolic of the pervasive and clear constitutional violations that have dogged this case from the beginning.”

Several prominent Republicans, including Vivek Ramaswamy, who is also running for the party’s nomination, saw the incident as proof that Trump was being treated unfairly by prosecutors. “It’s just pathetic that Fulton County posted the indictment publicly on its website before the grand jury was even called,” Ramaswamy said.

Trump won Georgia in 2016 but narrowly lost to Joe Biden in 2020, sparking a frenzied effort by the former president and his allies to stave off defeat. In one of the most prominent examples, Trump called Secretary of State Brad Raffensburger and asked him to “find 11,780 votes” so he could win the state. Ravensperger did not comply.

Trump leaves office in January 2021, days after a mob of angry supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. The former president has strongly condemned what he called a rigged vote. Despite his mounting legal troubles, he is the clear frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination in the 2024 election.

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