Georgia secretary of state responds to Trump indictment after ex-president targeted him

‘The most basic principles of a strong democracy are accountability and respect for the Constitution and rule of law,’ Brad Raffensperger says

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 15 August 2023 12:31 EDT
Fani Willis announces arrest warrants for Trump and 18 co-defendants

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded to the news that a Georgia grand jury indicted former president Donald Trump and his associates on charges related to their attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state.

The secretary released a brief statement.

“The most basic principles of a strong democracy are accountability and respect for the Constitution and rule of law. You either have it, or you don’t,” he said.

Mr Trump called Mr Raffensperger in the days after the election and asked for Mr Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” The Washington Post reported at the time.

But Mr Raffensperger, a Republican, rebuffed Mr Trump’s overtures. He later testified before the January 6 select committee about Mr Trump’s efforts to have him overturn the election results and the threats he experienced.

In response, Mr Trump supported a primary challenge against Mr Raffensperger in last year’s Republican primary. But Mr Raffensperger triumphed and later won re-election in November.

The 98-page indictment unsealed on Monday evening charged Mr Trump, as well as his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, who joined the phone call with Mr Raffensperger; along with former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani; attorneys Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell; former law professor John Eastman; Trump campaign lawyer Ken Cheseboro; and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

The twice-impeached four-times indicted former president faces 13 charges, including a violation of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, which charges people who engage in the service of a criminal enterprise.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said defendants’ RICO charges accused them of “participation in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere, to accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J. Trump to seize the presidential term of office, beginning on January 20, 2021”.

-Andrew Feinberg contributed reporting

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