Georgia, nation react to Donald Trump’s sweeping indictments

The nation’s 45th president is facing a host of legal troubles as he campaigns to retake the White House in 2024.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:59 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2023 at 10:24 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Reaction was swift as news of former President Donald Trump’s latest legal issues was announced by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The grand jury approved ten indictments against Trump and 18 others. The state charges are connected to their alleged interference in the 2020 election. Trump alone faces 13 of the 41 charges, including racketeering and conspiracy counts.

Among the defendants are people who served in Trump’s administration, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former attorney, were also named.

Trump addressed these latest indictments on his Truth Social account overnight.

Trump’s campaign said on social media that Willis is a “rabid partisan” who is using the investigation to interfere with the 2024 presidential race.

“These activities by Democrat leaders constitute a grave threat to American democracy and are direct attempts to deprive the American people of their rightful choice to cast their vote for president,” the statement said, adding that the accusations are “fabricated.”

Several politicians have also commented on the decision.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani issued a statement overnight in response to being indicted.

The Democratic Party of Georgia also released a statement following the indictment.

“Anyone who tries to silence or subvert the voice of the people at the ballot box is attacking the very foundation of our democracy. In 2020, Georgians watched Trump try to overturn a free and fair election just because he didn’t like the results — and starting today, Georgians will watch him face accountability,” the party said.

Georgia Rep. Nikema Williams said in her own statement that Trump tried to disenfranchise Georgia voters.

“That was an assault on our democracy. Now, Donald Trump is facing the consequences of his actions,” she said. “Too bad for him, in Fulton County, we apply the law equally to everyone — even failed former presidents.”

Meanwhile, the Republican House Committee on the Judiciary called the decision “disgraceful.”

“In the dead of the night, an overzealous junior varsity prosecutor from a county filled with crime and corruption indicted President Trump for purely political purposes,” it said on social media.

Georgia Representative and Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene called the investigation a “witch hunt” on social media.

“The media and elite Democrats need to stop pearl-clutching in their Trump Derangement support groups and go out in the real world where seniors and working folks can’t afford food, bills, and gas,” she said.

And Georgia Rep. Rich McCormick called the investigation a distraction from other important issues.

“That’s why we must focus on the issues that matter most to American families — border security, law and order, economic opportunity — not on the past,” the Republican said on social media. “To do that, we must unite around proven leaders with a bold vision for America.”

Some who testified in front of the grand jury are speaking out, too. Bee Nguyen, state director for Sen. Raphael Warnock and former Georgia representative, said she believes anyone who tried to overturn the election should be held accountable.

“No individual is above the law, and I will continue to fully cooperate with any legal proceedings seeking the truth and protecting our democracy,” she said on social media.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) took to Twitter to share his reaction, calling the indictments an attempt by Biden to weaponize the government against a “leading political opponent.”

“Americans see through this desperate sham,” the speaker wrote.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakem Jeffries said the indictment shows “a repeated pattern of criminal activity by the former president.”

Near noon, Reuters reported on a document listing several charges against Trump, like state racketeering counts, conspiracy to commit false statements and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. The filing, which was reportedly on the Fulton County court’s website for a short time before being taken down, was called “inaccurate” by a spokesperson for Willis.

Trump attorneys Drew Finding and Jennifer Little released the following statement:

In 2021, Willis announced her office’s investigation into alleged attempts by Trump to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election and then sat a special grand jury with subpoena power in Fulton County in May 2022. In court filings, Willis has alleged “a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

Trump had zeroed in on the county after he lost Georgia by a slim margin in the November 2020 general election. In phone calls to state election officials and in public comments, Trump made claims of widespread election fraud in Fulton.

Actions he took as he tried to overturn his election loss, including a phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, led Willis to open an ongoing investigation into whether Trump and others illegally meddled in the state’s election.

Raffensperger released the following statement Tuesday morning in response to the indictment.

In April, Willis warned Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat of “charging decisions” coming this summer in connection with her investigation. In that same letter, she notified Fulton County deputies she will announce charges from her investigation sometime between July 11 and Sept. 1.

On May 2, Willis said she is planning to make a “historical decision” this summer regarding her investigation. Later that month, she sent a letter to the Fulton County Superior Court, in which the DA notified Fulton court personnel her office plans to work remotely during the first three weeks of August and asked no trials be scheduled during that time.

This story is developing.

Atlanta News First is committed to bringing you the most extensive, fair and balanced coverage of former President Donald Trump’s historic indictment in Fulton County.