Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis said late Monday that former President Donald Trump and his 18 allieshave until noon ET on Friday, Aug. 25 to surrender.
Willis addressed reporters shortly after aand 18 others on 41 counts, including 13 against Trump, of election fraud, racketeering and other charges related to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The indictment names Trump as the top defendant along with allies including Rudy Giuliani, his former lawyer; John Eastman, a conservative lawyer; and Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff. Other co-defendants include Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official; and Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, conservative lawyers who pushed baseless claims of voter fraud.
In announcing the charges, Willis said "the state's role in this process is essential to the functioning of our democracy."
"Georgia, like every state, has laws that allow those who believe that results of the election are wrong, whether because of intentional wrongdoing or unintentional error to challenge those results in state courts," Willis said.
Willis alleged that rather than abiding by Georgia's legal process for election challenges, the defendant "engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia's presidential election result subsequent to the indictment."
Willis said that racketeering charges have "time that you have to serve, so it's not a probated sentence," meaning that if convicted, the defendants will be sentenced to prison time. While the trial date is set by a judge, Willis said she would be asking for a trial date within six months.
Willis also noted that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
Trump, the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges, has now been charged in four separate cases involving allegations that bookend his presidency.
In a statement, Trump's attorneys Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg said, "The events that have unfolded today have been shocking and absurd."
"This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests— some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result," the attorneys said in the statement. "We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been."
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