Trump Georgia live updates: Fulton County grand jury meeting to probe 2020 election interference

4m ago / 4:37 AM UTC

Aug. 15, 202303:48

36m ago / 4:05 AM UTC

Trump and Meadows charged in relation to ‘find 11,780 votes’ phone call

Count 28 of the 41-count indictment charges Trump and his former chief of staff Mark Meadows in relation to the former president’s infamous phone call imploring GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have” in Georgia.

President Donald Trump walks with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after returning to the White House from an event at the WWII memorial on May 8, 2020.
Then-President Donald Trump walks with then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after returning to the White House in 2020.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images file

The indictment charges both Trump and Meadows with solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer for the Jan. 2, 2021, call. The indictment alleges both men “unlawfully solicited, requested, and importuned” Raffensperger “to engage in conduct constituting the felony offense of Violation of Oath by Public Officer … by unlawfully altering, unlawfully adjusting, and otherwise unlawfully influencing the certified returns for presidential electors for the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia.”

In addition, Trump is charged with Count 29, “false statements and writings for several falsehoods about voter fraud in Georgia in his communications with Raffensperger, Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs and Georgia Secretary of State General Counsel Ryan Germany on Jan. 2, 2021.”

42m ago / 3:59 AM UTC

Kenneth Chesebro’s lawyer says he has not been contacted by Willis

Scott Grubman, an attorney for defendant Kenneth Chesebro, told NBC News tonight that he had not been contacted by Willis’ office.

Grubman said his team was reviewing the indictment and was likely to issue a statement tomorrow morning.

Chesebro, who was named in today’s indictment, is believed to be one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the case against Trump in Washington, D.C., brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

48m ago / 3:53 AM UTC

Dems see an even justice system; McCarthy calls it ‘weaponized’

Shortly after Trump was indicted for a fourth time, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., wrote in a joint statement that the latest indictment “portrays a repeated pattern of criminal activity” for Trump.

“The actions taken by the Fulton County District Attorney, along with other state and federal prosecutors, reaffirms the shared belief that in America no one, not even the president, is above the law,” they wrote.

They urged Trump’s supporters and critics not to interfere in the legal process set to unfold in the coming months.

That was in stark contrast to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who posted a statement on Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Justice should be blind, but Biden has weaponized government against his leading political opponent to interfere in the 2024 election,” McCarthy wrote.

He also criticized Willis for merely “following Biden’s lead” in attacking Trump, which is consistent with his statements in response to the previous indictments.

49m ago / 3:52 AM UTC

Willis says defendants ‘engaged in criminal racketeering enterprise’ to overturn state’s election results

Willis read the names of each of the 19 defendants in the sprawling 98-page filing in remarks less than an hour after the indictment became public tonight.

During a news conference, Willis noted that each of the defendants was charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act through participation in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere “to accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J. Trump to seize the presidential term of office” that began in January 2021.

Aug. 15, 202306:21

“The indictment alleges that rather than by abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election results,” she said.

51m ago / 3:50 AM UTC

Willis plans to try all 19 defendants together

Willis said at tonight’s news conference that she plans to try all 19 defendants together — a process that could present logistical challenges to juggle that many defendants and lawyers.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building on August 14, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. A grand jury today handed up an indictment naming former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies over an alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building in Atlanta, on Monday.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Defendants will have a chance to petition the court, if they choose, to ask that their cases be separated from some or all of those of the other defendants. Courts tend to frown on that, because it requires more resources to hold separate trials. But defendants could make the case that they would not get fair trials facing a jury at the same time as the others accused.

52m ago / 3:49 AM UTC

Defendants have until noon Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender

Willis announced at a news conference tonight that defendants named in the indictment have until noon Aug. 25 to turn themselves in.

The trial date will be within the next six months, she said.

1h ago / 3:40 AM UTC

30 other unnamed co-conspirators are mentioned

The indictment refers to more than two dozen unindicted, unnamed co-conspirators, referring to the group as “Individual l through Individual 30.”

Special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against Trump this month in the 2020 election case mentioned six unindicted, unnamed co-conspirators, including enough breadcrumbs to identify most of them. At an initial glance, there appear to be fewer clues in this indictment to who the alleged co-conspirators are.

1h ago / 3:40 AM UTC

What is the ‘enterprise’ referred to in the RICO charge?

The indictment lists people who the prosecutor alleges “constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities.”

Here’s the list: “Donald John Trump, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, John Charles Eastman, Mark Randall Meadows, Kenneth John Chesebro, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Jenna Lynn Ellis, Ray Stallings Smith III, Robert David Cheeley, Michael A. Roman, David James Shafer, Shawn Micah Tresher Still, Stephen Cliffgard Lee, Harrison William Prescott Floyd, Trevian C. Kutti, Sidney Katherine Powell, Cathleen Alston Latham, Scott Graham Hall, Misty Hampton, unindicted co-conspirators Individual 1 through Individual 30, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury.”

The indictment alleges that the enterprise operated in Fulton County, Georgia, as well as other parts of the country.

RICO — the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act — was passed in 1970 to fight organized crime.

1h ago / 3:35 AM UTC

One defendant charged with perjury

Robert Cheeley is the only defendant in the indictment charged with perjury.

The final count in the indictment stems from Cheeley’s grand jury testimony on Sept. 15 about the so-called fake electors.

1h ago / 3:33 AM UTC

Some charges center on alleged harassment of election worker Ruby Freeman

Several of the charges in the indictment relate to Ruby Freeman, the Fulton County elections worker who became the subject of pro-Trump conspiracy theories after the 2020 election.

Ruby Freeman, a former Georgia election worker, cries as her daughter Wandrea ArShaye
Ruby Freeman testifies at a House Jan. 6 committee hearing in Washington in June 2022.Cheriss May / Sipa USA via AP file

Freeman testified before the House Jan. 6 committee last year along with her daughter Shaye Moss that they lost all sense of safety after Trump, Giuliani and others publicly accused them of messing with votes in Georgia. In fact, they said, they were passing a ginger mint in video. Both women were officially cleared of wrongdoing this summer.

Tonight’s indictment accuses some in Trump’s orbit of criminal attempts to influence a witness and conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings in repeatedly calling and texting and visiting her home after the election.

“In furtherance of this scheme” — that is, trying to overturn the election in Georgia — “members of the enterprise traveled from out of state to harass Freeman, intimidate her, and solicit her to falsely confess to election crimes that she did not commit,” the indictment says.

1h ago / 3:20 AM UTC

Here are the new charges facing Trump

Trump was charged with 13 counts in the 41-count indictment leveled against 19 defendants.

Here’s a list of the charges against Trump:

Count 1: Violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act

Count 5: Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer

Count 9: Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer

Count 11: Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree

Count 13: Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings

Count 15: Conspiracy to commit filing false documents

Count 17: Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree

Count 19: Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings

Count 27: Filing false documents

Count 28: Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer

Count 29: False statements and writings

Count 38: Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer

Count 39: False statements and writings

1h ago / 3:14 AM UTC

Trump-aligned super PAC slams latest indictment

Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for the Trump-aligned super PAC MAGA Inc., called the Georgia indictment “election interference” and an “unprecedented abuse of power” in a statement.

“Today, Fani Willis joins Merrick Garland, Jack Smith, and Alvin Bragg in the Deranged Democrat Prosecutor Club — their only goal being to arrest Donald Trump and prevent him from being on the ballot against Joe Biden,” Leavitt said, adding that “the American public continues to rally around” Trump “harder, stronger, and more enthusiastically than ever before.”

2h ago / 3:10 AM UTC

Here are the 19 people charged in the indictment

Former President Donald Trump

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani

Lawyer John Eastman

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows

Former Trump campaign attorney Kenneth Chesebro

Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark

Former member of Trump legal team Jenna Ellis

Ray Smith III, the lawyer who represented Trump in 2020 election challenges in Georgia

Atlanta lawyer Robert Cheeley

Former Trump staffer Michael Roman

David Shafer, a fraudulent 2020 Republican elector and former chairman of the Georgia GOP

Shawn Still, one of the fraudulent 2020 electors and a current member of the Georgia Senate

Stephen Lee, an Illinois police chaplain

Harrison Floyd, executive director of Black Voices for Trump

Trevian Kutti, a Chicago-based publicist who represented Kanye West

Former Trump legal team member Sidney Powell

Cathy Latham, one of the fraudulent 2020 electors and former chairwoman of the Coffee County Republican Party in Georgia

Scott Hall, a 2020 Fulton County Republican poll watcher

Former Coffee County Elections Director Misty Hampton

2h ago / 3:09 AM UTC

Read the indictment

2h ago / 2:58 AM UTC

There are 19 defendants, including Trump

The document charges 19 defendants — including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

2h ago / 2:56 AM UTC

Georgia grand jury indicts Trump in connection with efforts to overturn 2020 election

Aug. 15, 202301:50

The grand jury indicted Trump this evening, charging him as part of a sweeping investigation into the effort by him and his allies to overturn the 2020 election.

2h ago / 2:39 AM UTC

Newt Gingrich: House Republicans should ‘cut off’ funding to special counsel Jack Smith

In an appearance on Fox News tonight, Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on GOP lawmakers to “cut off” funding for special counsel Jack Smith’s office.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks during the America First Agenda Summit, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on July 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the America First Agenda Summit in Washington in 2022.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

“I think Republicans are going to have to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘No, this is over.’ And the first place to do that is the budget … just cut off the money on Sept. 30,” he said, referring to the last day of the fiscal year, when government funding is set to run out unless new funding legislation is signed into law.

“They should do whatever it takes to close down this entire anti-constitutional, ruthless breaking of the law,” Gingrich said.

He went further to decry the grand juries involved in each of the indictments, calling them unfair and not accurate juries of Trump’s peers. The solution, he said, was to go after Smith’s funding.

With Trump already facing three indictments, Gingrich also argued that notching a fourth in Georgia would only embolden voters to be Trump campaign surrogates.

2h ago / 2:27 AM UTC

John Eastman lawyer sent a memo to Willis today arguing against charges

A lawyer for John Eastman, an attorney at the center of the “fake electors” strategy to overturn the 2020 election for Trump, said he and his client have received no information today about the grand jury action in Georgia.

John Eastman in Los Angeles
John Eastman in Los Angeles, on June 20.Jae C. Hong / AP file

Eastman attorney Harvey Silverglate said they sent a legal memo to the district attorney this morning explaining why, in their view, no charges should be filed against Eastman — and they asked for a meeting to further try to make that case.

Silverglate said they sent a similar memo and request to the special counsel Friday.

Silverglate previously confirmed that Eastman appears to be “Co-Conspirator 2,” an unindicted and unnamed operative mentioned in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against Trump in Washington, D.C., this month.

Eastman faces disbarment proceedings in California, which he has asked to be put on hold because of the potential for criminal charges in Smith’s probe.

2h ago / 2:22 AM UTC

Trump campaign slams indictment ahead of its release

The Trump campaign argued that the yet-to-be released indictment amounted to “election interference or election manipulation.”

In a statement, the campaign reiterated Trump’s personal attacks on the prosecutors involved in his indictments. It also argued that the indictment in Georgia was an attempt to suppress the former president’s First Amendment rights, the same argument Trump has used in other his other indictments.

3h ago / 2:11 AM UTC

Hillary Clinton expresses ‘profound sadness’ over indictments

In an interview on MSNBC, Hillary Clinton said she feels “profound sadness” that the U.S. has a former president who has faced indictments “that went right to the heart of whether or not our democracy would survive.”

Aug. 15, 202303:00

In response to Rachel Maddow’s question about whether she feels any satisfaction, she said the only satisfaction could be that “the system is working” and “justice is being pursued.” Clinton referred to Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, as having the hallmarks of “authoritarian dictatorial kinds of leaders.”

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, also took aim at the GOP.

“I hope that we won’t have accountability just for Donald Trump and if there are others named in these indictments along with him for their behavior, but we’ll also have accountability for a political party that has just thrown in with all of the lies and the divisiveness and the lack of any conscience about what was being done to the country,” she said.

3h ago / 1:46 AM UTC

Aug. 15, 202304:59

3h ago / 1:27 AM UTC

Sen. Lindsey Graham criticizes role of county prosecutors like Willis

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., appeared to cast doubt over Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation of Trump in a Fox News interview tonight.

Image: Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in Washington, DC., in 2022.Ting Shen / Pool via AP file

“Are we going to let county prosecutors start prosecuting the president of the United States — the former president of the United States?” Graham asked in an interview with host Pete Hegseth.

Graham also took aim at Democratic prosecutors more broadly.

“The American people can decide whether they want him to be president or not. This should be decided at the ballot box, not a bunch of liberal jurisdictions trying to put the man in jail,” Graham said. “They’re weaponizing the law in this country. They’re trying to take Donald Trump down, and this is setting a bad precedent.”

3h ago / 1:21 AM UTC

Rudy Giuliani is live right now as indictment is unsealed


Giuliani, who helped lead the former president’s legal campaign to overturn the 2020 election, is live on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Trump denied a report that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and repeated his stance to only share his tax returns after an audit is finished.
Former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, at the White House in 2020.Chris Kleponis / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Giuliani is arguing that Trump’s legal team could contest the indictment, which he called “unjust,” even though it has not yet been made public, because it is “a political indictment.”

If others are implicated as well as Trump, Giuliani said, the indictment “ain’t going to leave me out.”

Giuliani lamented the potential prosecution “of lawyers for attempting to do their job aggressively as we’re supposed to,” adding that he’s nonetheless “proud.”

3h ago / 1:19 AM UTC

What unfolded in Judge McBurney’s courtroom

Representatives from the Fulton County Superior Court Clerk’s office, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office entered Judge Robert McBurney’s courtroom at 8:58 p.m.

McBurney, who was overseeing the panel, issued an order Monday dissolving the special grand jury. The order says the grand jurors completed a final report and that a majority of the county's superior court judges voted to dissolve the special grand jury.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney in Fulton County, Ga., in 2022. Ben Gray / AP

The representative of the district attorney’s office held a stack of papers.

McBurney went through the indictment, making sure the papers were signed and the forms were properly filled out. He asked the district attorney’s representative whether “everything went as it should have in front of the grand jury.” The representative confirmed it had.

The judge did not read anything from the indictment out loud.

McBurney then handed the indictments to the clerk’s office representative and instructed her to maintain custody of the indictments.

She left the courtroom en route to the clerk’s office to file the indictment.

4h ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Judge: ‘That’s it’

Judge Robert McBurney joked with the media after having signed off on indictments from the jury — without reading names of defendants.

“That’s it.”

4h ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Unclear at the moment who was charged

A grand jury investigating whether Trump and his allies tried to interfere with Georgia’s 2020 presidential election has delivered 10 indictments, but it is not yet clear who was charged.

4h ago / 12:57 AM UTC

Grand jury delivers 10 indictments

The court clerk wrote on a certificate that the grand jury has returned 10 indictments.

4h ago / 12:52 AM UTC

Indictment unsealing process begins; judge returns to bench

The indictment unsealing process is underway.

The judge is back on the bench in his courtroom after the grand jury began voting more than 45 minutes ago.

4h ago / 12:24 AM UTC

Listen to the full 2021 call between Trump and Raffensperger

Jan. 3, 202101:02:04

5h ago / 12:01 AM UTC

Grand jury is voting now

A source familiar with the proceedings said the Fulton County grand jury is voting now.

5h ago / 11:51 PM UTC

Duncan calls out ‘misinformation’ surrounding 2020 election: It was ‘fair and legal’

Geoff Duncan, who was Georgia’s lieutenant governor during the 2020 election, called out “misinformation” and “lies” surrounding the previous presidential election in brief comments with reporters today after his appearance before the grand jury.

Duncan declined to provide details about his testimony and didn’t name Trump directly, but he condemned falsehoods about the election.

“As a Republican, this is a pivot point for us. This is a pivot point that we’re either going to wake up to or we’re not,” Duncan said outside the Fulton County Courthouse.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation for a number of years, and this is our opportunity to get the real story out. But my hope is that Americans believe us. My hope is that Republicans believe us: that this election was fair and legal.”

Duncan said Republicans have the opportunity to “hit the reset button, to launch into a GOP 2.0 that focuses on policies that matter — not lies, not tweets — but policies that matter.”

5h ago / 11:35 PM UTC

Grand jury takes break after hearing from seventh witness

The grand jury finished hearing from the seventh witness shortly before 7:30 p.m. ET, a source with direct knowledge of the proceedings told NBC News.

Members of the grand jury are taking a brief break, the source said.

5h ago / 11:13 PM UTC

Judge: ‘Another hour’

Judge Robert McBurney, the Fulton County Superior Court judge who has presided over parts of the election probe, continues to offer tidbits of information to the press camped out in his courtroom.

“I’ve been told I need to be here for another hour,” McBurney said.

He brought a box of potato chips in for the media — Lay’s.

6h ago / 11:03 PM UTC

Grand jury hears from seventh witness out of 10

Shortly after 6:30 p.m., the grand jury began hearing from witness No. 7, out of 10, a source familiar with the proceedings said.

The source cautioned that the district attorney might not hear from all 10 witnesses before the grand jury votes on potential indictments.

The DA’s office is trying to wrap up everything tonight, but the process remains fluid, the source added.

6h ago / 10:50 PM UTC

Judge to reporters waiting in courthouse: ‘Hang in there’

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who has presided over parts of the election probe, has a crowd of journalists waiting in his courtroom and hasn’t shied from coming out to chat.

“Y’all doing alright?” McBurney said to the assembled media shortly before 7 p.m. “Well, hang in there. I’m doing the same.”

6h ago / 10:18 PM UTC

In Georgia, cameras could sharpen the focus on Trump in the courtroom


If Trump is indicted in Fulton County, it will not be the first time the former president will answer to criminal charges in a courtroom. But this time, the entire process is likely to play out on live television.

Unlike in federal or Manhattan courts, where Trump appeared for his three previous arraignments, Georgia law requires that cameras be allowed into judicial proceedings with a judge’s approval.

In 2018, the Georgia Supreme Court, in an order amending the law to include smartphones, underscored the importance of transparency: “Open courtrooms are an indispensable element of an effective and respected judicial system.

“It is the policy of Georgia’s courts to promote access to and understanding of court proceedings not only by the participants in them but also by the general public and by news media who will report on the proceedings to the public.”

Read the full story here.

6h ago / 10:18 PM UTC

Giuliani on possible Fulton County indictment: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

Former Trump attorney Giuliani was approached outside his Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan today about a potential indictment stemming from the Fulton County district attorney’s probe.

When asked whether he’s worried about a possible indictment, Giuliani told NBC News: “I shouldn’t be. I didn’t do anything wrong.” 

“But I mean that doesn’t stop some of these people from — I mean it’s ridiculous, this’ll be the fourth indictment of Donald Trump in an election year,” he continued. “I guess we can figure out that these really aren’t indictments. These are attempts to prevent him from running for president of the United States. They stopped being indictments probably two indictments ago.”

He added that he believed the legal challenges would “result in a massive victory for Donald Trump.”

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