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What Georgia has learned from Trump indictments as more charges loom

Former President Donald Trump could face a third indictment sometime this summer related to his alleged 2020 election meddling in Georgia.
What Georgia has learned from Trump indictments as more charges loom
Posted at 8:54 AM, Jun 16, 2023

Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to both federal and state charges in Florida and New York, but Georgia could be the next to bring an indictment.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to announce this summer whether she will bring charges against the former president for allegedly meddling with the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. 

“This is one of the most high-profile cases that Georgia may see,” said Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat. 

In a sit-down interview with Scripps News, Labat said metro Atlanta has been the backdrop for a number of high-profile cases, and his department is prepared to handle potential reaction from this case, as well. 

“We have a real opportunity here to get it right,” said Labat.

SEE MORE: Trump and Biden had classified docs. Why is only Trump being charged?

In the Georgia probe, a January 2021 phone call Trump made to Georgia’s secretary of state asking him to “find 11,780 more votes” is a key piece of evidence. 

The Washington Post reports Willis may try to pin RICO charges on Trump, suggesting his efforts to overturn Georgia’s election results may have expanded across state lines. 

At his arraignment in the classified documents case Tuesday in Miami, the former president was met by a sea of supporters and some counter-protesters. 

Sheriff Labat said two of his commanders were in the crowd as well. 

“From that perspective, they were able to look through a different lens and see how we can either engage at a higher level or do some things differently," he said. 

Crowds in Miami were smaller than expected and authorities reported few problems.  

In Manhattan when Trump appeared for court proceedings in the hush-money case, metal barricades separated his supporters from anti-Trump protesters. NYPD officers stepped in to break up a few small confrontations.  

SEE MORE: How is Donald Trump expected to fight his indictment?

As for when to expect an announcement in the Georgia probe, Willis strongly suggested any indictments would come in August. 

“Ultimately, she was very specific in her letter, and we will acquiesce and make sure we are prepared,” said Labat. 

In her letter to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Willis advised law enforcement to “prepare for heightened security,” adding, “the announcement of decisions may provoke a significant public reaction."  

Labat said it’s not just protesters they’re worried about. 

“In many instances, there were more media in New York than protesters,” he said.  “And conversely in Miami, we noticed how quickly the media showed up after the announcement.” 

In a separate letter to the County Superior Court last month, Willis said she plans to have most of her staff work from home during the first three weeks of August. 

She also asked that judges not schedule any trials or in-person hearings during that time.  

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