To listen to Donald Trump respond to the indictments that were handed down against him, the entire
world is out to get him. “It’s all a witch hunt!” he repeatedly screamed. The former president contended
his actions were not illegal and that the several investigations were all politically motivated. In a statement released
in mid-August 2023, Trump's campaign called his fourth indictment "un-American and wrong!". Former New York
City Mayor Rudy Giuliani released a statement echoing Trump's campaign statement that the allegations in the Georgia
indictment were all false. "The real criminals here are the people who have brought this case forward both directly and
indirectly," he said.
"The [former president] doth protest too much, methinks" is an
appropriate modification of a line from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It is spoken by Queen Gertrude
in response to the insincere overacting of a character in the play within a play created by Prince Hamlet to prove his
uncle's guilt in the murder of his father, the King of Denmark. The phrase is used in everyday modern speech to indicate
doubt of someone's sincerity, especially regarding the truth of a strong
Donald Trump has been indicted four different times! Donald Trump stands accused
of more than four different crimes! – 1. the New York Hush-money Case, 2. the Election Interference Case,
3. the Classified Documents Case, and 4. violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Donald
Trump was charged by three differentand independent prosecutors! – 1. District Attorney Alvin Bragg of
Manhattan 2, Special Counsel Jack Smith, and 3. Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis. Donald Trump was
indicted by four different grand juries of totally different citizens. Donald Trump was indicted
in four different jurisdictions! – 1. New York, 2. Florida, 3. Washington D.C. and 4.
Can everyone except Donald Trump be wrong? Is Donald Trump innocent all the charges brought against
him to date? Is everyone out to get the former President? Has Donald Trump been the victim of a witch hunt?
Poor defenseless innocent (?) Donald Trump. In mid-August 2023, for the fourth time in five months,
the former president was indicted on 41 criminal charges.
Trump and 18 other people were charged in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to
overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. The defendants allegedly solicited state
leaders throughout the country, harassed and misled a Georgia election worker and pushed phony claims that the election was
stolen, all in an effort for Trump to remain in power despite his election loss.
According to the indictment, the alleged scheme involved prominent individuals such as Trump's
former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and attorney John Eastman.
Here are some of the major allegations in the 41-count indictment.
*** Members of the conspiracy made several false statements to the Georgia state legislature,
falsely claiming there was election fraud and that they could appoint their own electors.
*** The defendants allegedly created false Electoral College documents and recruited individuals
to convene and cast false Electoral College votes at the Georgia State Capitol, in Fulton County, on December 14, 2020.
"The false documents were intended to disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021." The indictment
contends the defendants allegedly tried to conduct similar acts in key battleground states: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada,
New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
*** The indictment detailed alleged efforts to harass Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman to
convince her to report election fraud claims in testimony. Rudy Giuliani and others made false claims to the Georgia House
of Representatives that Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, who was also an election worker, sabotaged voting machines.
Some of the defendants allegedly tried to influence Freeman's testimony and intimidated her. Trump associate Trevian Kutti
allegedly traveled from Chicago to Georgia to speak to Freema. Kutti claimed she was there to help Freeman because she was
in danger and lied to her about her intentions.
*** Former senior Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, who is one of the defendants named
in the indictment, allegedly made false statements in writing and in person to the Acting Attorney General and Deputy
Attorney General, urging the officials to let him convey the false information to Georgia State Officials. Clark wanted to
be able to say that the Department of Justice "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the
election in multiple states, including the State of Georgia." Clark requested authorization, both in writing and in person,
to send this incorrect information to Gov. Brian Kemp, Ralston and President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate, Butch
*** The indictment alleges that members of the group "stole data, including ballot images, voting
equipment software, and personal voter information.” Trump attorney and co-defendant Sidney Powell allegedly "entered into
a written engagement" with a forensic data firm known as SullivanStricker LLC that they allege joined in an "unlawful breach
of election equipment in Coffee County, Georgia.” "The stolen data was then distributed to other members of the enterprise,
including members in other states."
Trump’s legal woes rapidly spread to a growing number of his friends and associates. In August
2023, eighteen people were charged in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of
the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.
Even before Trump’s current legal troubles began, friends and associates of Donald Trump were being
accused of and even convicted of malfeasance. Being a friend of or an associate of Donald Trump has had dubious
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: You can judge a man by the company he keeps.
Prior to 2021, At least 11 people who played a role in Trump’s presidential campaigns or his administration were charged
with crimes, with Tom Barrack, who chaired Trump’s inaugural committee and was a longtime friend, accused of illegal foreign
lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
Below is a list of everyone in Trump’s orbit from 2016 through 2021 who has run afoul of the law.
(They’re listed in alphabetical order by last name.) Since 2021, the list has grown considerably longer.
1. Steve Bannon: Trump’s political Svengali was charged with fraud in August 2020
for a fundraising scam tied to raising dollars to build Trump’s much bally-hooed border wall. The allegation, which Bannon
has denied, was that he and others involved in the We Build The Wall group used money raised to pay for lavish
2. Tom Barrack: Barrack was charged on seven counts in 2021. The allegations,
according to the indictment, centered on the idea that Barrack used his closeness to Trump to “advance the interests of
and provide intelligence to the UAE while simultaneously failing to notify the Attorney General that their actions were
taken at the direction of senior UAE officials.” Following Trump’s 2016 victory, Barrack asked UAE officials to provide him
with a “wish list” they hoped for from the administration over the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. “The defendant is
charged with acting under the direction or control of the most senior leaders of the U.A.E. over a course of years,” wrote
the prosecutors of Barrack.
3. Elliott Broidy: Broidy, a top fundraiser for Trump’s 2016 presidential
campaign, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to conducting a secret lobbying campaign in exchange for millions of dollars.
CNN’s Kara Scannell wrote at the time of Broidy’s guilty plea: “Broidy was charged earlier this month with conspiracy for
failing to register and disclose his role in a lobbying effort aimed at stopping a criminal investigation into massive
fraud at a Malaysian investment fund and advocating for the removal of a Chinese billionaire living in the US.”
4. Michael Cohen: The one-time fixer for Trump, Cohen was sentenced to three
years in prison for a series of crimes, most notably secret hush-money payments made during the final months of the 2016
presidential campaign to two women alleging affairs with Trump. The sentencing judge said that Cohen had pleaded guilty to
“a veritable smorgasbord” of crimes. Cohen turned informant on Trump and, in sworn testimony in front of Congress in 2019,
Cohen called Trump “a racist,” “a conman” and “a cheat” – and insisted that the president was fully aware of the hush-money
5. Michael Flynn: Flynn spent a brief stint as Trump’s national security adviser
before being forced to resign after he failed to disclose the depth and breadth of his contacts with Russian officials
during the transition. Later that year, Flynn admitted that he had lied to the FBI about his contact with Russia and had
also done work for Turkey as an unauthorized lobbyist. In early 2020, Flynn and his legal team sought to have his conviction
overturned. That effort was rendered moot when Trump pardoned him in November 2020.
6. Rick Gates: Gates, deputy to the campaign chairman of Trump’s 2016 campaign,
pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Paul Manafort in concealing $75 million in foreign bank accounts. Gates turned
informant for the government as part of the broader probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and was sentenced to
45 days in jail.
7. Paul Manafort: Trump’s campaign manager for part of the 2016 presidential
campaign, Manafort pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of conspiracy against the US and one count of conspiracy to obstruct
justice due to attempts to tamper with witnesses – and agreed to cooperate with the ongoing Russia probe. Manafort was
sentenced to 47 months in prison in 2019. Trump pardoned Manafort in the final weeks of his presidency and
Manafort wound up serving just under two years in prison.
8. George Nader: An informal foreign policy adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign,
Nader cooperated heavily with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In
early 2020, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sex crimes involving minors.
9. George Papadopoulos: Papadopoulos, a relatively junior adviser to Trump’s
campaign, was sentenced to 12 days in prison for lying to investigators about his contacts with individuals tied to Russia.
Papadopoulos was defiant about his innocence; “The truth will all be out,” he tweeted the night before reporting to prison.
“Not even a prison sentence can stop that momentum.” Trump pardoned Papadopoulos in December 2020.
10. Roger Stone: Stone spent years advising Trump although he was only formally
affiliated with the 2016 campaign very briefly. He was convicted in November 2019 for lying to Congress and threatening a
witness regarding his efforts for Trump’s campaign. According to the judge, Stone’s actions “led to an inaccurate, incorrect
and incomplete report” from the House on Russia, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. Stone, and stop me if
you’ve heard this one before, was pardoned by Trump in December 2020.
11. Allen Weisselberg: In July 2021, the longtime chief financial officer for the
Trump Organization was charged with tax crimes tied to perks he was given in lieu of salary. “All told, the indictment
alleged, Weisselberg evaded taxes on $1.76 million in income over a period beginning in 2005 and concealed for years that
he was a resident of New York City, thereby avoiding paying city income taxes,” wrote CNN”s Erica Orden, Kara Scannell and
Sonia Moghe. Weisselberg pleaded not guilty. The Trump Organization, which was also indicted and pleaded not guilty, called
Weisselberg a “pawn in a scorched-earth attempt to harm the former
As of August 2023, the ex-president was indicted in four separate prosecutions. So far, he faces a
total of 91 criminal counts overall. Donald Trump made history in March of 2023 as the first former president to be
indicted. In August of that year, he made history again as the first former president to be charged in four separate
Trump's four cases are looming over him as he runs in the 2024 presidential election. His criminal
trials — not to mention civil trials — and court appearances are set to largely run concurrently with the presidential
But while all the cases will keep him busy they don't all pose the same level of threat. For some
charges, he's unlikely to see jail time if he's convicted. Others could be much more dangerous for him if they get to a jury
trial. Here are all four cases, ranked from least to most threatening.
New York hush-money case - District Attorney Alvin Bragg of Manhattan was the
first to bring criminal charges against Trump. In March, 2023, he alleged Trump broke laws related to falsifying
business records 34 different times. The alleged crimes occurred before he was elected president, as part of a
scheme with Michael Cohen to pay porn star Stormy Daniels and keep her quiet ahead of the 2016 election about an affair she
says she had with him. But even if Trump is convicted of all counts, it's unlikely that he will see any time behind bars for
falsifying documents in connection to his $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels.
Jack Smith's election interference case - Early in August 2023, special counsel
Jack Smith brought charges against Trump alleging he broke criminal laws by conspiring to obstruct Congress and rob
Americans of their rightful votes through his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
The case was assigned to US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has been unforgiving in handing out
sentences to convicted participants of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot in Washington DC. While the charges are serious,
Smith and Trump are in legally untested waters. It remains to be seen whether Chutkan or an appeals court might consider
some of Trump's activity described in the indictment as protected by the First Amendment. If Trump were convicted in this
case, he would be eligible for a presidential pardon since it's a federal case.
Classified documents case - Jack Smith's office indicted Trump on 37 counts in
June 2023 connected to his possession of government documents at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. They include
violations of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, lying to law enforcement, and breaking three
laws related to withholding and concealing government records. The upside for the former president is that the
judge presiding over this case, US District Judge Aileen Cannon, is a Trump nominee and has ruled in his favor in the past —
often to the bafflement of legal experts. And like the DOJ's January 6 case, the classified documents case is also a federal
one, meaning Trump is eligible for a presidential pardon if he's convicted following a trial.
But there's a significant downside. For one, this is a much more straightforward case for Smith's
office than the January 6 case because there's more precedent for the alleged mishandling of classified information.
Prosecutors also went to great lengths to highlight Trump's efforts to keep government records even after the National
Archives and the Justice Department had asked for them back, as well as his and his associates' attempts to obstruct the
department's investigation into the former president's handling of national defense information. They also highlighted in
the indictment one conversation in which Trump appeared to acknowledge knowing that he was not supposed to share
confidential or classified information with those who didn't have the appropriate security clearance. Prosecutors also
tacked on three new charges against Trump in a superseding indictment, accusing him of working with
his associates to erase security camera footage to prevent investigators from viewing it, and willfully retaining national
Georgia's RICO case - The most significant charge against the former president —
under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Because the case is so complicated and includes 19 defendants, it's very likely that it will be the last case among the
four to go to trial. And if Trump is convicted, a judge can take his entire judicial history into account during sentencing.
The governor can't pardon in Georgia. It's the Board of Pardons and Paroles that has to grant a pardon Here's the kicker:
President Trump could only apply for a pardon if he were to be convicted and only after he had served five years in a
On 24 August 2023, the sad story of Donald Trump entered a new chapter. On that day, Trump was
arrested at Georgia’s Fulton County Jail on charges he tried to steal the 2020 election, the fourth criminal case he faced
while campaigning for president the next year.
The processing – with authorities collecting fingerprints and a photograph – contrasts to his three
other cases, in New York, Florida and Washington, D.C., where he was processed at a courthouse. His photograph wasn’t
required at previous bookings because he is well known. Trump spent about 20 minutes at the jail.
All defendants are technically arrested in such cases, even if they voluntarily surrender, in a
process known as booking. The former president was also arrested earlier on federal charges that he tried to
steal the 2020 election. Trump pleaded not guilty to the sweeping allegations.
Trump’s indictment is a formal document that contains allegations that he committed a crime. It
includes the charges laid out against him and is filed before the case can move forward in court. The indictment means a
grand jury decided that there’s “more likely than not” enough evidence – based on testimony – to move forward with charging
him. At least twelve jurors had to be in agreement that Trump and the others named in the indictment allegedly committed a
crime. After the indictment, Trump will have ro go to trial where a jury will reach a unanimous decision on whether or not
to pursue conviction.
In spite of all the bad press poor defenseless Donald receives, let’s not forget that our legal
system requires the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Despite all
the hot takes, Googling arm-chair experts, and genuinely troubled onlookers, the presumption of innocence for Trump is a
crucial guarantee in our criminal justice system.
Let’s face it - we won’t know for months or years whether Trump actually broke Georgia’s criminal
code when he did what he did. Not having a final answer immediately may not be satisfying, but it’s how the system
Nothing compares to the scope of the potential Georgia case against Trump, nor the gravity of
possibly sending a former U.S. president to state prison. And unlike federal charges, Georgia law won’t let a president
or governor simply issue a pardon to Trump later. He could be looking at real jail time if he is convicted. And he is
unlikely to be the only person implicated.
More than 20 others were named as targets of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’
investigation. As Willis’ case has advanced, Trump has claimed at every turn that he won in Georgia in 2020, which he did
not. He has attacked Willis in public and recently cut a campaign commercial with her image and lewd rumors, too. He hasn’t
stopped, changed, or apologized.
Many already think that what Trump did in Georgia was despicable. They think it was wrong and
fundamentally un-American. But also presuming that Trump is innocent of a crime until he is proven guilty is as American
as it gets.
Poor defenseless Donald, everone is out to get him!
- What's in the Georgia Trump indictment, ABC news, 15 August 2023.
- The lady doth protest too much, methinks, Wikipedia, Accessed 15 August 2023.
- 11 Trump associates have now been charged with crimes. 11!, Chris Cillizza, www.cnn.com,
21 July 2021.
- Trump's 4 criminal cases, ranked in order of how screwed he is, Jacob Shamsian and Sonam Sheth,
15 August 2023.
- A highly anticipated booking photo. A notorious jail. The Donald Trump arrest recapped, Josh Meyer,
Phillip M. Bailey, Bart Jansen and Abraham Kenmore, USA TODAY, 25 August 2023.
- Donald Trump is innocent until proven guilty, Patricia Murphy,
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11 August 2023.