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.
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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