Has Donald Trump Maxed Out on Indictment Momentum? Georgia Holds the Answer – There should be little doubt that Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis will secure a grand jury indictment against former President Donald Trump.
The question is, what will be the political and legal fallout?
Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, is an elected official, thus a politician. So, she doesn’t want to be the only Donald Trump prosecutor to fall short of an indictment.
This week in Atlanta, a new grand jury was sworn in to consider criminal charges against Donald Trump and allies that wanted to reverse the outcome of the Georgia election in 2020. Willis has all but promised an indictment by August.
This puts the probe that has fallen out of the news because of special counsel Jack Smith and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, back in a peachy spotlight.
But the indictment will be a little blunted. As weak as the Bragg indictment was, it was unprecedented for a former president to be criminally charged.
The Smith indictment over the classified documents was a historical first federal indictment of a former president.
When the Willis indictment hits, the typical busy American will hear the hyperventilating on the evening news and think, “Wasn’t he already indicted?” Then they’ll flip the channel. Third just isn’t that exciting. Charles “Pete” Conrad was the third man to walk on the moon. More than most human beings can say. But he’s not in too many school text books.
The virulent Trump haters and Trump sycophants will engage in predictable hysteria, but neither represents a majority.
You say, the last two indictments sent Trump into skyrocketing poll numbers in the Republican primary surveys.
But he’s likely reached critical mass on indictment momentum. Without knowing what Willis would charge him with, it’s a safe bet that a third indictment won’t move the needle much politically.
A fourth or fifth likely won’t either.
The legal issue is another matter.
The Georgia case always seemed stronger legally than alleging Trump incited the Jan. 6 riot, or that his business deals in New York were shady, or (as sleazy as it was) there was anything illegal regarding the Stormy Daniels affair. It’s also a tough sell that the classified documents case is much different from what past presidents have done.
But Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger post-2020 election and asked the state’s top election official why he can’t just “find 11,780 votes,” which would have been enough to put Trump over the top to beat Joe Biden in the state.
The intent matters here. Trump’s legal team led him to believe he had well in excess of that many uncounted votes. But it sure sounds like he was suggesting Raffensperger do something a little seedy.
The two-year investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the Georgia election result involved investigating a convoluted plan for an alternative set of electors.
The grand jury’s report was mostly hidden from the public to protect “potential future defendants.” But an unsealed section of the report said “a majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more of the witnesses testifying before it.”
Who knows how this leads back to Trump? Willis might use a perjury charge to squeeze witnesses to incriminate Trump on another charge.
But the Georgia case could very likely become the least politically impactful–but strongest political case against the former president.
Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie.