Amateur Hour In Georgia

Reuters reports that earlier today, the Fulton County state court posted a “Case Information” document that lists charges against Donald Trump. The document was subsequently deleted, but you can see it here. The District Attorney’s office stated:

“The Reuters report that those charges were filed is inaccurate. Beyond that we cannot comment,” a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office said.

While the court was even less forthcoming:

The court clerk’s office in a statement said no documents had been filed on Monday related to the grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the case.

The office described what it called “a fictitious document that has been circulated online” without specifying whether it was the one listing criminal charges against Trump.

While its public filing evidently was premature, the Case Report is obviously authentic. It includes a case number and identifies Judge Rachelle Carnesale as the presiding Judicial Officer.

The document lists 39 charges against Trump, arising out of his post-election activities in Georgia. All of them are felonies, but the Case Report leads off with an allegation that Trump violated Georgia’s RICO statute, which is listed as a “serious felony.” So this seems to be the prosecutor’s principal theory. This is the text of the law that Trump apparently will be charged with violating:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, through a pattern of racketeering activity or proceeds derived therefrom, to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise, real property, or personal property of any nature, including money.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise to conduct or participate in, directly or indirectly, such enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire or endeavor to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section. A person violates this subsection when:

1. He or she together with one or more persons conspires to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section and any one or more of such persons commits any overt act to effect the object of the conspiracy; or

2. He or she endeavors to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section and commits any overt act to effect the object of the endeavor.

Offhand, it is not obvious to me how anything Trump might have done could violate the Georgia RICO act. The date of the alleged RICO violation is November 4, 2020, the day after the election. The other charges have later dates, mostly in December 2020 but extending as far as September 2021.

All of this merely confirms what we already knew, that a Democratic prosecutor in Atlanta is going to add to the growing list of Trump indictments. I suppose Trump will once again rise in the polls when the indictment is announced.

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