Former President Donald Trump’s investigation

Former President Donald Trumps investigation

Jennifer Crider, Arts & Life Editor

The special grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia has recommended indictments for multiple people on a range of charges in its final report. 

From the beginning of this investigation in May 2022 to the end in January 2023, the grand jury of 23 people heard testimonies from 75 witnesses. Although most of the jury’s final report is sealed, portions of it have been released, and they state that there is evidence that perjury occurred throughout this investigation.  

“A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” the report said. “The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling.” 

Georgia state law does allow special grand juries to subpoena witnesses, but they can not formally indict individuals. Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, will use the evidence found in the grand jury’s investigation to decide what charges should be given. 

The sections released do not include who exactly will be charged. Because Trump never testified in front of this jury, he will not be one of the ones charged with perjury, but he could possibly be charged with something else. 

“It is a crime in Georgia to solicit someone to commit election fraud or to interfere with the performance of official election duties,” said Sam Levine in an article for “The Guardian.” 

Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act could also be applied in this case. Code B of this act states that it is illegal for people to participate, directly or indirectly, in racketeering to gain personal control of an enterprise. 

The Atlanta grand jury is not the only investigation into Trump right now. The Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., is investigating Trump’s removal of 3,000 documents from the White House after his presidency ended. In New York City, there are two separate investigations on the Trump Organization misrepresenting their company’s finances to gain bank loans and lower their taxes.  

If Trump is indicted on criminal charges, it will be a historical decision. Although three presidents have been impeached, no president has ever been indicted on criminal charges.

“I don’t think Trump will get charged,” said Dani Mathis, an early childhood education major. “He’s a person of power, and people in power never get the punishment they deserve.” 

Even though Trump is currently in four investigations, he told “USA Today” reporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that he will be running in the 2024 presidential election, even if he is charged. 

“I won’t even think about leaving,” Trump said. “Probably, it’ll enhance my numbers.” 

Trump could be right about this not harming the number of votes he receives, as his following has proven their dedication to him, and they seem generally unphased by these investigations. 

“This won’t have any effect on his followers voting for him, because people who support Trump care more about his personality than what he does wrong,” Mathis said.

Trump’s presidency shifted the ideology of the Republican Party, and some feel that all of these scandals that occurred during this presidency resulted in a more divided country. However, Ron DeSantis, Trump’s competition for the Republican nomination, seems to be even further right-wing than Trump, leaving moderate Republicans confused about who to vote for. 

“When you have someone who is so hard-liberal and so hard-republican, it’s obviously going to divide a country,” said Bobby Norman, a senior marketing major. “I want a president who can see it from both sides and work with the other party.”