19 Names, One Serious Charge in Common

Violation of Georgia's RICO Act carries a possible 20-year prison term
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2023 9:40 AM CDT
19 Names, One Serious Charge in Common
Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Oct. 21, 2020.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Former President Trump is, of course, the biggest name in the Georgia indictment, but the list of 18 others includes some that will ring familiar, particularly Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, and John Eastman. One thing all 19 have in common: All face a single count of "violation of the Georgia RICO Act," a racketeering charge that carries a potential 20-year sentence, per FOX 5 Atlanta. Some specifics:

  • Giuliani: He faces 13 charges (the same as Trump). Giuliani served as Trump's personal lawyer at the end of his presidency and is seen as the "chief architect" of Trump's efforts to overturn election results in Georgia and other swing states, reports the Wall Street Journal. Georgia law specifically prohibits "false statements" in regard to government, and prosecutors say Giuliani made several regarding conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, per the New York Times. He also disparaged two Black election workers, saying "they look like they're passing out dope, not just ballots," but provided no evidence they were engaged in any wrongdoing.

  • Meadows: Trump's former chief of staff faces two charges. In regard to Georgia, he visited Cobb County while state investigators were conducting an audit of absentee ballots, per the AP. He also obtained the phone number of Frances Watson, chief investigator for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and gave it to Trump, who called her personally. Meadows also set up Trump's famous phone call with Raffensperger in which Trump asked him to "find 11,870 votes" to turn the election. The Hill notes that Meadows has gone largely off the grid, leading to speculation that he cooperated with special counsel Jack Smith in Trump's federal case on election interference.
  • Eastman: The former constitutional law professor faces nine charges. He is seen as the architect of the plan to create a list of pro-Trump "alternate electors" to supplant the official electors who voted for Biden, per the AP.
  • The other 15 names: As rounded up by Atlanta News First: lawyers Kenneth Chesebro, Jeffrey Clark, Jenna Ellis, Ray Smith III, Sidney Powell, and Bob Cheeley; Trump campaign staffer Michael Roman; David Shafer, former chair of the Georgia Republican Party; Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still; police chaplain Stephen Lee; Black Voices for Trump leader Harrison Floyd; publicist Trevian Kutti; poll watcher Scott Hall; former Coffee County elections official Misty Hampton; and former Coffee County GOP Chair Cathleen Latham. The Hill has small bios of each. The Times has a breakdown of the specific charges each faces.
(More Georgia indictment stories.)

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