In recent months, former President Donald Trump has been hit with 91 charges in four criminal indictments. As an attorney, I’ve paid close attention to all of the cases, which may be hard for most non-lawyers to follow. His actions on Jan. 6, 2021, are well known, but it’s up to the special counsel, Jack Smith, to prove criminal conduct.
Most people I know have said nothing about Trump’s alleged retention of classified documents. An eventual trial will reveal what kinds of papers were involved, and then it will be up to a jury to decide right or wrong.
When it comes to the Georgia indictment, I’m not willing to give Trump the free pass he demands by yelling that the case is a “political witch hunt.” The 96-page indictment spells out conduct that’s best described as colossal chutzpah. While some of the other indictments used overly broad language, the Georgia case spells out conduct that is typical of what would happen in Russia, Hungary or Venezuela.
The day after his 2020 election loss, Trump embarked on a comprehensive campaign to change the results of the election in Georgia. Despite a number of statements by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp that the election in his state was run “according to law,” and his denials that there was any fraud, Trump continued his efforts to have the results thrown out. The whole world has heard Trump’s conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger demanding that he find 11,780 votes, which would have given Trump one more vote than he needed to win the state.
As a further display of pure arrogance, Trump also called the speaker of Georgia’s House, David Ralston, demanding that he convene a special session of the Legislature for the purpose of overturning the results of the election. Once he knew what Trump was asking, Ralston refused to take his calls. That was followed by more calls from the president to other election officials, asking them to find fraud. Those calls were coupled with calls allegedly made by a Trump lawyer accusing a Black worker of fraudulent conduct. Those accusations led to right-wing hate threats to her life.
Jerry Kremer was an Assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? firstname.lastname@example.org.