In July 2021, former President Trump visited the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" event in Arizona, hosted by Turning Point Action, a political action organization that supports Trump. (Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network)
Donald Trump, runner up of the 2020 presidential election, faces criminal charges on multiple levels from Georgia’s district attorney. Trump believes the win belongs to him instead of President Biden. As such, Trump has been asking for the recounting of votes in Georgia to ensure there was no voter fraud that altered the election result.
Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis opened her inquiry in February to investigate Trump. Since then, she has been consulting with the White House committee and sharing information about the January 6 Capitol attack. Trump’s loss is considered a potential cause of the Capitol riot, making it even more important to ensure that he had no contact with rioters to encourage their actions. Willis has reached out to numerous officials in the Georgia state government, requesting that they preserve any records they may have related to the 2020 presidential election or Trump specifically.
The first representative Willis reached out to was Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State. Raffensperger had direct contact with Trump, so Willis decided to write him a letter containing potential violations of state law. Violations include “the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath to office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.” These are heavy claims, yet Willis is determined to prove each and every one as the truth.
Raffensperger had received a phone call from Trump in January and discussed election results with him. Throughout the call, Trump had urged Raffensperger to “just find 11,780 votes”, which is just the amount he needed to reverse the state’s election results ― Trump had lost by 11,779 popular votes in the state of Georgia. Raffensperger also received a letter from Trump, who in the letter asked Raffensperger to decertify the election results, which Raffensperger said is impossible.
Governor Brian Kemp also received a phone call from Trump. In this call, Trump pushed for Kemp to convince the Georgia Legislature to overturn Biden’s win in the state. Kemp refused, earning Trump’s ire for the Republicans of Georgia. Trump had gone as far as calling Kemp “hapless” for refusal to “overrule” Raffensperger’s certification of Biden’s win of the state. Both Kemp and Raffensperger saw what Trump was asking them to do as immoral, impossible, or in some cases, even illegal.
Due to the defiance of Raffensperger, Kemp, and other Republicans of Georgia, Trump has tried to prevent them from controlling state matters. The Justice Department taskforce has launched an investigation on threats sent to election officials nationwide and even just election workers who were volunteering and received death threats or warnings of violence. Whether these unsettling threats and warnings came directly from Trump is currently under investigation.
Though the investigation may seem unwarranted to Trump and his supporters, the Justice Department and prosecutors hold that the criminal inquiry launched by Willis is justified and backed by public evidence. On December 1, 2020, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced that the U.S. Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the course of the election.
While Willis is running her investigation, the Manhattan (New York) District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has started his own investigation into Trump’s business dealings. Vance had discovered a more than 15-year scheme of defrauding taxpayers to have them pay money directly to the company’s executives. Trump and his chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, already have a potential court date, scheduled for late August to early September of 2022.
Trump faces many charges on several levels, and where these criminal charges may take him is extremely difficult to tell. The near future holds no answers as to what may happen if the court decides to convict Trump as guilty on account of Willis’s inquiries or Vance’s findings. Given current circumstances, future elections may be turbulent if Trump runs again. The ruling of each case will undoubtedly shape both former President Trump’s legacy and future prospects.
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