What a Donald Trump Indictment in Georgia Looks Like

  • The investigation into Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn Georgia’s 2020 elections results is ongoing.
  • If Trump is charged by Atlanta’s DA, he would be extradited from Florida unless he comes to Atlanta willingly.
  • Experts say he would likely be notified about an indictment and not have to remain in jail.

There’s a long list of criminal investigationsFormer President Donald Trump. Atlanta may be the closest to completion.

Fani Willis, Fulton County’s District Attorney, began her investigation shortly thereafter Trump made an infamous call to Brad RaffenspergerGeorgia secretary of State, asking him to “find enough votes” to reverse Trump’s 2020 electoral loss and make him President Joe Biden.

Court filings show that the DA’s investigation grew to include Trump’s close aides who planned to send fake electorsTrump a second term.

Willis has quickly moved the investigation forward. Over the past year, Willis has assembled a grand jury and fought court battles for testimony from Gov. Brian Kemp; David Shafer (the state’s Republican Party chairman); Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina; and more that a dozen other Trump associates who spoke at the time. Mark Meadows and Newt Ginrich were two other prominent witnesses who fought grand jury subpoenas. Their cases are now before appeals courts.

Trump and the fake voters could be charged with election fraud, improperly trying influence government officials, criminal solicitation. according to an analysis from the Brookings Institution.

As of December 2017, Willis has received testimony from almost all of the major players in Trump’s plot in Georgia to overturn the election results. According to CNNHer office has been working with participants in the scheme to fake-electors to negotiate plea deals.

If she intends to bring indictments soon, they could happen.

Trump will almost certainly know first if he is indicted.

Trump, a prominent and well-respected lawyer, will almost certainly be aware that an indictment is on the horizon.

Right now, a special grand jury — which is set to sit until May — is hearing evidence and testimony in the case. Ronald L. Carlson, a professor from the University of Georgia School of Law, said that once its work is completed, it will prepare a report referring or refusing to refer the case to a regular Grand Jury.

Carlson stated that a regular grand jury, which meets for two months, would likely move quickly because it would have all of the evidence meticulously compiled by a special grand jury.

Carlson stated, “The reason it will go very fast because the regular grand jury (from the testimony of a laundrylist of witnesses that have already testified before the special grand jury) will have a transcription from the testimony of the regular grand jury.” “Witnesses including the Georgia secretary, the Georgia governor, Senator Lindsey Graham and Rudy Giuliani.”

fani willis

Fani Willis is the Fulton County district attorney in Georgia. She was photographed in her office on January 4, 2022.

AP Photo/Ben Gray

If the regular grand jury returns an indictment the Fulton County prosecutor’s office would usually file it to court under sealed. Carlson stated that the Fulton County district attorney’s office would inform Trump’s lawyers that an indictment was returned and give him the opportunity of turning himself in.

According to Dmitriy Sakhnevich, a New York criminal defense lawyer and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York), Trump may be allowed a few more days to make arrangements to fly from Florida to Georgia by the prosecutor’s Office. There is no immediate risk that Trump will attempt to reverse election results, unlike other criminal defendants.

“If you have a crime of violence, then there’s a real risk — then they’re not going to be very flexible,” Shakhnevich told Insider. In a case such as this, they will be more flexible. I can’t imagine them being too flexible. They might give him a week to come back.”

Trump could be arrested if he is charged criminally and refuses surrender. He would be required to travel from Mar-a-Lago, his home, to an Atlanta courthouse.

Trump could be extradited

Trump can be arrested and extradited to any country if he is charged with a crime in the US.

There has been speculation that Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida might block extraditionHe has no power to intervene. The US Constitution, Article 4, Section 2 outlines the extradition process and federal laws clarify it.

Carlson said to Insider that if the president is indicted on felony charges, it would be impossible for him to escape justice by saying, “I’m not going down to Atlanta.”

trump mar-a-lago melania christmas dinner

Trump at a Mar-A-Lago dinner in Palm Beach, Florida on December 24, 2019.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

A law-enforcement department in Atlanta — most likely the deputy sheriff’s office, Carlson said — would ask counterparts in Florida, like the Palm Beach sheriff’s office, to execute an arrest. He would likely have Secret Service agents accompany him. as Insider previously reportedHowever, they are unlikely to be involved with the arrest process.

Shakhnevich says that Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t believe the investigation into his activities is politically motivated. However, he would be unable to fight for his arrest and extradition.

Shakhnevich said that this kind of political stuff will not fly. “If there’s a court order that allows for an arrest to be executed, he won’t play those kinds of games.”

He wouldn’t be required to wait for a trial in prison.

Upon arriving at the courthouse in Atlanta — whether by force or voluntarily — Trump would have an arraignment hearing, in which a judge sets the conditions of his release ahead of trial.

Fulton County District Attorney’s Office could ask for him to be held in custody or for a high bail to ensure his return.

Carlson says that Trump’s risk of fleeing the United States is unlikely.

“He is such a prominent figure. Carlson said that he will not be able to disappear to the beaches of Thailand or somewhere like that. “So, I believe that there is no risk of flight.”

donald trump georgia rally

Trump at a rally held in Perry, Georgia in 2021.

REUTERS/Dustin Chambers

Shakhnevich said that the judge could also take his passport to stop him fleeing. Shakhnevich stated that it doesn’t really mean much in practice.

Shakhnevich explained that this simply means that he’ll need to check in to the courts if ever he wants to go somewhere, and the courts can always give him permission to go.

Carlson said Trump could waive his appearance to allow his lawyers to represent his case through “some of his preliminary stages”.

If Trump does not plead guilty, the case will move to criminal discovery and then to trial.

Trump’s schedule will be full. Trump is running for President in 2024, and has other legal matters to worry about.

A trial by a group of plaintiffs for a lawsuit alleged he hawked a multilevel-marketing scamis expected to move forward in 2023, or early 2024. E. Jean Carroll filed a lawsuit against him, accusing him of rape. The New York attorney general’s office also filed a lawsuit against him over his business practices.

Then there are the ongoing criminal investigations, most notably those from the Justice Department as well as the Manhattan district attorney’s Office.

Georgia would have the edge in case Trump is charged in multiple places.

Attorneys for the Justice Department are required to inform Washington, DC’s top brass if they plan to indict a high profile figure.

Individual district attorneys — working for local districts rather than the federal government — have no such obligation. Carlson said that Willis would most likely give Merrick Grland some notice. Jack Smith, Garland’s former special counsel, was appointed by the US Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the fake-elector scheme and Trump’s possession of Mar-a-Lago documents.

Merrick Garland Oath Keepers

Attorney General Merrick Grland addresses the media about the verdict in Oath Keepers’ trial of their leaders and members at a news conference at Justice Department on November 30, 2022.


Willis doesn’t have to submit to the Justice Department. If Smith were ever to be charged with Trump’s possession of government documents or the Manhattan District Attorney’s office was to indict him for his company’s finances then Willis’ case might still move forward if she files the indictment first.

Carlson stated that “if the Georgia authorities are ready to trial, they don’t have to wait for what comes out from the Mar-a-Lago Search.”

To ensure that Trump is able to defend himself in each trial, the judges who oversee each case would need to dance across multiple jurisdictions. Carlson said that the case in Georgia is particularly powerful because of the strength and reliability of the evidence.

Carlson stated that “So far as my knowledge, they do not have any recording of former President Trump trying persuade officials into taking certain actions.” “That is the responsibility of the secretary-state of Georgia. He recorded the call and said, “Brad. I want you to find 11780 new votes.”

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