The case — relying on laws typically used to bring down mobsters — is the fourth targeting the 77-year-old Republican this year and could lead to a watershed moment, the first televised trial of a former president in US history.
A grand jury voted Monday evening to bring a total of 13 felony charges against the former president, including violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law, as well as violating his oath of office.
A slate of others were indicted along with Trump, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — one of Trump’s attorneys — as well as former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The process played out live on national television, as cameras inside the courthouse staked out the clerk’s office, where the indictment paperwork was signed and walked down to the courtroom, where it was presented to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.
The criminal case comes as Trump leads the field of Republicans seeking their party’s 2024 presidential nomination. It’s his fourth indictment this year, following charges in two federal cases, as well as a hush-money case in New York.
Trump famously called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, and suggested the state’s top elections official could help “find” the votes Trump needed to beat Biden. It was the release of a recording of that phone call that prompted Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to open her investigation about a month later.