An indictment is a written statement of criminal charges that has been approved by a grand jury; in this case a group of randomly selected people from Georgia who heard prosecutors’ evidence against Trump. Trump called, cajoled and even threatened top Georgia election officials and put together a months-long campaign to lie about the election results in Georgia, the indictment alleges.
The examples given in the indictment mostly fall into these categories:
Trump called at least six state officials and urged them to find and throw out enough suspect votes to offset his loss in the state: After the results in Georgia were final, Trump talked to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and in an intimidating, hour-long phone call said he wanted to find enough votes to flip the state’s results. To prosecutors, that call is a central piece of evidence of Trump’s intent to commit a conspiracy to overturn the election results: “This was an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy,” the indictment reads. There’s a recording of the call, and Trump has never denied its authenticity. In fact, he recently stood by what he said: “You owe me votes because the election was rigged,” is how he summarized his conversation. Trump also called the state’s top Republican leaders: Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr and House Speaker David Ralston, as well as a top election official in Georgia as she was investigating ballot fraud. His top advisers called many others.
Trump falsely claimed, without any proof, that widespread fraud tainted the election results: Trump and his allies’ false statements are a key part of this indictment. The indictment methodically lists Trump’s tweets falsely claiming he won in Georgia, a call he made to Vice President Mike Pence deriding him as a “wimp” and a letter he sent to Raffensperger almost a year after the election falsely claiming ballot fraud. “Trump knowingly, willfully and unlawfully [made] false statements,” the indictment reads. “This was an act of racketeering activity [under Georgia law] and an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
Trump publicly attacked election officials in Georgia: As election results were being counted, Georgia’s governor, secretary of state and top aides talked about the intimidation and even death treats they and their workers received from Trump supporters. One top official in Georgia directly tied the violent rhetoric to Trump’s actions: “Mr. President,” he said, “you have not condemned these actions or this language.” While this was going on, Trump attacked some of these officials, calling then “corrupt” at a speech the day of the attack on the Capitol. The indictment lists Trump and his allies’ baseless statements about one election worker in particular, Ruby Freeman. She and her daughter said they were forced into hiding after being assaulted with racist attacks for doing their job. The indictment charges a police chaplain from Illinois for going to Freeman’s home and allegedly threatening her.
Accessing election equipment: Well after the votes were counted, Trump allies copied sensitive election equipment in a rural Georgia county then shared it with election deniers across the country. They didn’t have the ability to change votes, but security experts worry they gave hackers valuable insight into election infrastructure. Prosecutors allege they broke various Georgia computer security laws, like unlawful possession of ballots, computer theft, computer trespass and interference with primaries and elections. A local election official in Coffee County, Georgia — Misty Hampton — was indicted, as well as the former GOP chair of the county, Cathleen Alston Latham. Prosecutors allege this is connected to Trump because his top lawyers met with him at the White House in December to discuss “certain strategies and theories intended to influence the outcome of [the election], including seizing voting equipment.” Later, people listed in the indictment tried to transmit the data from Coffee County to the Trump campaign, it alleges.
Forgery related to fake electors: After the 2020 election, Republicans in seven states that Trump had lost created their own slates of pro-Trump electors to compete with the official state slates of pro-Biden electors. In Georgia, they met at the state Capitol like the legitimate electors and the former head of the Republican Party in Georgia led the meeting. He is indicted on a charge of allegedly impersonating a public officer. So is a current state senator in Georgia, Shawn Micah Tresher Still. The indictment alleges this is connected to the Trump campaign because his lawyer Rudy Giuliani helped orchestrate the meeting of fake electors.