(ATLANTA) — After a two-and-a-half-year probe, a Fulton County grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others on charges related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
It marks the fourth indictment of the former president, who already faces federal charges in the special counsel’s Jan. 6 and classified documents probes, as well as the Manhattan DA’s hush money case. Prior to Trump, no former or current president had ever been indicted.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Aug 15, 1:39 PM EDT
‘Perfect irony’: Giuliani faces RICO charge similar to one he popularized as prosecutor
As an upstart chief prosecutor in perhaps the most prestigious legal office in the country, Rudy Giuliani in the mid-1980s made use of a novel way to quell the scourge of New York organized crime — leveraging a brand new, little-known federal statute called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.
Using RICO, as it’s known, Giuliani managed to charge dozens of mobsters with seemingly unrelated crimes, all under the umbrella of one overarching scheme. At the time, it was a revolutionary use of federal law and it later served as a model for state and federal prosecutors around the country.
As U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Giuliani’s successful prosecutions of New York’s storied crime families made him a media darling and launched Giuliani’s political career. But now, four decades later, Giuliani finds himself on the other side of his own legal legacy — facing Georgia state criminal RICO charges in the Fulton County district attorney’s case against his longtime boss, former President Donald Trump, and 18 of his allies.
“This is perfect, perfect irony,” said Anthony Cardinale, a veteran defense attorney who represented “Fat Tony” Salerno, the former head of the Genovese crime family, in 1986. “Giuliani is going to be sitting in a courtroom, pray to God … 40 years after he started bringing these exact types of cases.”
To read more about Giuliani’s winding road to prosecution, click here.
-ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman
Aug 15, 1:11 PM EDT
Kemp: ‘The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen’
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who Donald Trump allegedly pressured to overturn the 2020 election results in the state, is defending the state’s election process in response to the Fulton County indictment and Trump’s Truth Social post announcing a press conference on alleged voter fraud in Georgia.
“The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen,” Kemp said in a statement. “For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor.”
He added, “The future of our country is at stake in 2024 and that must be our focus.”
-ABC News’ Lalee Ibssa
Aug 15, 9:35 AM EDT
Trump to hold press conference Monday
Former President Donald Trump announced in a Truth Social post this morning that he will be holding a news conference Monday at 11 a.m. in Bedminster, New Jersey.
He wrote that at the news conference, he will present a “Large, Complex, Detailed but Irrefutable REPORT” on alleged election fraud that took place in Georgia.
Aug 15, 5:35 AM EDT
Indictment an ‘affront’ to democracy, Giuliani says
Rudy Giuliani, who served as a personal attorney for President Donald Trump, said the indictment handed up on Monday evening amounted to “an affront to American Democracy.”
The indictment would do “permanent, irrevocable harm to our justice system,” Giuliani, who was charged as an alleged co-conspirator of the former president, said in a statement.
He added, “It’s just the next chapter in a book of lies with the purpose of framing President Donald Trump and anyone willing to take on the ruling regime. They lied about Russian collusion, they lied about Joe Biden’s foreign bribery scheme, and they lied about Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive proving 30 years of criminal activity. The real criminals here are the people who have brought this case forward both directly and indirectly.”
Aug 15, 12:38 AM EDT
Indictment centers on RICO charges
The 98-page indictment centers on racketeering charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
It charges 41 counts, 13 of which Trump faces, and alleges that Trump made 13 false statements in his effort to overturn the election results.
Aug 15, 12:28 AM EDT
Defendants include numerous attorneys associated with Trump
In addition to Trump, those charged include his one-time personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, attorney John Eastman, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, attorney Kenneth Chesebro, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, attorney Jenna Ellis and attorney Sidney Powell.
The remaining defendants are Ray Smith III, Robert Cheeley, Michael Roman, David Shafer, Shawn Still, Stephen Lee, Harrison Floyd, Trevian Kutti, Cathleen Latham, Scott Hall and Misty Hampton aka Emily Misty Hayes.
Aug 15, 12:13 AM EDT
Indictment alleges 161 acts as part of racketeering charges
The indictment alleges 161 acts as part of the efforts to overturn the state’s election results. They include press conferences and social media posts that themselves might not be crimes, but are being charged as part of the overarching enterprise.
Aug 14, 11:53 PM EDT
Co-defendants worked in ‘furtherance of the conspiracy,’ indictment says
The indictment describes how several of the co-defendants, including Kenneth Chesebro, Michael Roman and James Shafer, worked together from Dec. 11, 2020 through Dec. 25, 2020, in several states including Georgia and Arizona, to commit acts “in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
The alleged acts include Shafer reserving a room at the Georgia State Capitol in Fulton County, Georgia to gather “Trump presidential elector nominees,” and Chesebro sending emails to Roman regarding Trump presidential elector nominees in other states.
The indictment also describes how the co-conspirators allegedly communicated with the Trump campaign about the Trump electors.
According to the indictment, Rowan instructed an individual associated with the Trump campaign to “distribute information related to the December 14, 2020 meetings of Trump presidential elector nominees in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to other individuals associated with the campaign and co-conspirator 4.”
On Dec. 13, 2020, Chesebro sent an email to Giuliani outlining the “multiple strategies for disrupting and delaying the joint session of congress on January 6, 2021,” the indictment says.
Aug 14, 11:41 PM EDT
Defendants ‘falsely accused’ election worker, indictment says
The alleged enterprise “falsely accused” Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman of committing election crimes, the indictment says.
Members of the alleged enterprise traveled out of state “to harass Freeman, intimidate her, and solicit her to falsely confess to election crimes that she did not commit,” it says.
Aug 14, 11:34 PM EDT
Indictment spells out alleged ‘false elector’ scheme
The alleged enterprise, including “several” of the defendants, created “false Electoral College documents” and recruited individuals to cast “false Electoral College votes” at the Georgia State Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, and then transmitted those votes to the president of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. archivist, the Georgia secretary of state, and the chief federal judge in Atlanta, the indictment says.
“The false documents were intended to disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021, in order to unlawfully change the outcome of the November 3, 2020, presidential election in favor of Donald Trump,” says the indictment.
Aug 14, 11:24 PM EDT
Indictment alleges 30 unindicted co-conspirators
In addition to the 19 defendants listed in the indictment, as many as 30 unindicted co-conspirators were involved in the criminal scheme, according to prosecutors.
“The Defendants, as well as others not named as defendants, unlawfully conspired and endeavored to conduct and participate in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere,” the indictment says.
The indictment says “several” of the defendants made false statements to Georgia officials, including the secretary of state and Speaker of the House of Representatives, and “corruptly solicited [them] … to violate their oaths to the Georgia Constitution and to the United States Constitution by unlawfully changing the outcomes of the November 3, 2020, presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.”
Aug 14, 11:19 PM EDT
Meadows, Giuliani among those charged
Among those indicted were some of Trump’s closet advisers, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump’s one-time personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Aug 14, 11:12 PM EDT
Trump, others ‘joined a conspiracy’ to overturn results, says indictment
“Trump and the other Defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump,” the indictment’s introduction says.
“That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the State of Georgia, and in other states,” it says.
Aug 14, 11:04 PM EDT
Trump, 18 others charged in 2020 election probe
Former President Donald Trump and 18 others have been indicted by a Fulton County grand jury in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, according to court documents.
Aug 14, 10:00 PM EDT
Indictment returned in Georgia election probe
A Fulton County grand jury has handed up an indictment related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, according to multiple sources.
A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis declined to comment.
Aug 14, 6:00 PM EDT
Former lieutenant governor at courthouse to testify
Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan is at the courthouse waiting to testify before the grand jury.
Duncan had said he was originally asked to testify Tuesday, indicating his testimony was moved up.
In a tweet, journalist George Chidi said he was sitting with Duncan at the courthouse.
“I’m sitting with Geoff Duncan, waiting to go,” Chidi, who was also asked to appear before the grand jury, wrote in the tweet.
Aug 14, 2:40 PM EDT
Multiple witnesses spotted, testifying before grand jury
Multiple witnesses have been spotted and testified before the Fulton County grand jury today, including two former state lawmakers.
Former Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan testified today, she told local outlets as she left the courthouse, saying she testified for about 40 minutes.
Former Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen also testified, according to a statement.
“Today, I testified in front of the Fulton County Grand Jury,” the statement said. “When I took my oath of office in 2017, I swore my allegiance to our Constitution and promised to protect and defend our State and our country. On December 2020, when Rudy Giuliani and the former President’s legal team appeared before the Georgia House of Representatives, I upheld my oath and told the truth in the face of false testimony about our elections.”
“Today, I reaffirmed my allegiance to our State and country — by exercising my patriotic duty as a U.S. citizen and telling the truth under oath,” she continued. “As a former lawmaker, I respect the separation of power and the crucial role that our judicial system plays in protecting our democracy by holding everyone accountable, even powerful individuals.”
Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling, who spoke exclusively with ABC News’ Jon Karl over the weekend, was also spotted in the courthouse by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin, Will Steakin, Laura Romero and Richard Elliott
Aug 14, 2:12 PM EDT
Journalist’s testimony moved to today, he says
Journalist George Chidi, who previously said he was asked to come before the Fulton County grand jury to testify on Tuesday, now says his testimony has been moved up and he has been asked to come in Monday.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Chidi said there was a “change of plans.”
“They’re moving faster than they thought,” he wrote.
Chidi previously said he was present as a reporter in December 2020 at the Georgia state Capitol, where a slate of so-called “alternate electors” were allegedly meeting as part of a plan that prosecutors have said was intended to keep Joe Biden from amassing 270 electoral votes when the votes were certified on Jan. 6.
Aug 14, 11:40 AM EDT
Trump attacks DA Fani Willis on social media
Former President Donald Trump on Monday launched a string of familiar attacks against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday as Willis is expected to begin presenting her election interference case to a grand jury later today.
In three all-caps posts on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump attacked Willis over her investigation, blasted media leaks, specifically urged “someone” to tell the grand jury he did not interfere in the election while continuing to make false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
-ABC News’ Will Steakin
Aug 14, 10:08 AM EDT
A timeline of the criminal probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia election results
On Jan. 2, 2021, former President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to win the state in the 2020 election.
The now-infamous phone call helped spark a criminal investigation launched the following month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looking into the efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
-ABC News’ Meredith Deliso and Olivia Rubin
Aug 14, 7:43 AM EDT
Key players in Georgia probe include officials, lawyers and 16 ‘fake electors’
Who are the key players in the criminal probe into former President Donald Trump’s alleged election interference?
Some are local officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who certified the state’s election results, and District Attorney Fani Willis, who is expected to bring the case before a grand jury as soon as Monday.
Others were working with Trump during or after the election, including his former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, both of whom appeared before a special grand jury.
And there were also 16 “fake electors” who allegedly participated in a scheme to overturn the state’s election results were notified that they were considered targets in the criminal investigation, prosecutors in court documents last year.
-ABC News’ Meredith Deliso
Aug 14, 6:39 AM EDT
Fulton County DA expected to begin presenting case Monday, sources say
The Fulton County district attorney who has been probing former President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia is expected to begin presenting the case to a grand jury on Monday morning, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
The presentation from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office comes after a two-and-a-half-year probe into the matter.
A spokesperson for the DA declined to comment.
This grand jury that will hear the case is a typical grand jury that has been seated for weeks and has heard other cases unrelated to the Trump probe.
It is not immediately clear how long the presentation will take.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin
Aug 14, 7:05 AM EDT
Who is District Attorney Fani Willis?
Many eyes are watching Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as her investigation into alleged efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia nears its end and a potential fourth indictment looms for Trump, who denies all wrongdoing.
A charging decision is imminent. Willis is expected to present her findings to a grand jury this week.
“I would hate to have Fani Willis after me,” Judge Jerry Baxter told ABC News. “She is a superb trial lawyer and the real deal.”
-ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler
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