The NY Times is running cover for the fact that the special counsel accidentally released charges against Donald Trump in Georgia before the grand jury finalized anything. The release had 13 felonies for no crimes. Click the link. We don’t know what charges the jury returned but we know he was indicted.
The NY Times reports:
A grand jury in Atlanta spent hours hearing evidence Monday as prosecutors began laying out their investigation of Donald J. Trump and some of his former advisers, whose efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election could result in a criminal indictment — the fourth against the former president.
The proceedings stretched into the evening, with the judge overseeing the grand jury keeping his courtroom open after the normal close of business so jurors could hear additional testimony.
For two and a half years, prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., have been investigating whether Mr. Trump and his allies broke state laws in their bid to keep him in power. Nearly 20 people are known to have been told that they could face charges as a result of the investigation.
Twelve of the 23 grand jurors must agree that there is probable cause to hand up criminal charges. Here’s what to know:
The investigation led by Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, focused on five actions taken by Mr. Trump or his allies in the weeks after Election Day, when Joseph R. Biden Jr. narrowly won Georgia. Those actions include phone calls that Mr. Trump made to pressure state officials to overturn the result, as well as harassment of local election workers by Trump supporters, false claims of ballot fraud, a plan by Trump allies to create a slate of bogus electors and a data breach at an elections office in rural Coffee County, Ga.
A separate special grand jury investigated the matter in an advisory capacity last year, hearing evidence and testimony from dozens of witnesses, and recommended more than a dozen people for indictment. The forewoman of that jury has strongly hintedthat the former president was among them. The grand jury this week is a new one.
Mr. Trump has already been charged in federal court with carrying out a concerted effort in six states, including Georgia, to prevent Mr. Biden’s victory from being certified by Congress. Though elements of the Georgia inquiry overlap with the federal case, Ms. Willis has said that she has not coordinated her efforts with Jack Smith, the Justice Department’s special counsel overseeing the federal investigations into Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump has also been charged by Mr. Smith in federal court in Florida with mishandling classified documents, and in state court in New York in connection with money paid to a porn star who was poised during the 2016 campaign to go public with her story of a sexual encounter with him. Catch up on the many cases against Mr. Trump.
The former president has denied all of the charges against him, and claims they are part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” intended to keep him from being elected again next year. His hope of avoiding criminal convictions in the federal cases may hinge largely on his campaign — he could potentially pardon himself for federal crimes if re-elected.
Mr. Trump would not be able to quash the case in Georgia if re-elected, because presidents do not have authority over state courts — a distinction that raises the stakes of a prosecution in Fulton County