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Donald Trump charged in Georgia over scheme to overturn 2020 election results

Donald Trump has been charged with 13 counts in Georgia over alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, including violating the state’s racketeering act and violating his oath of office, in what is now the fourth criminal case against the former US president.

The indictment names 18 others, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Three Trump aides have been charged with forgery in the first degree.

Prosecutors brought 13 counts against Trump and his associates, including forgery and racketeering, which is used to target members of organised crime groups.

The case, brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, investigated Trump’s efforts to pressure state leaders to reverse his 11,000-vote loss to Democrat Joe Biden and organise a slate of illegitimate electors to undermine the process of formalising Biden’s victory.

Joe Biden’s wafer-thin win in Georgia – by 2,473,633 votes to 2,461,854 – was pivotal to his electoral college victory over Mr Trump in 2020.

It is the latest in a string of serious legal cases against Mr Trump, including an alleged conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, his handling of classified documents since leaving the White House, and allegations he falsified business records to conceal a “hush money” payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Mr Trump denies wrongdoing in connection with all of the cases and claims he is a victim of a “witch hunt”. The charges have so far failed to dent his popularity as the Republican presidential frontrunner for 2024, though doubts remain over how his campaign will proceed as he faces looming criminal trials.

Over the course of a two-year investigation, Willis has examined Trump’s efforts to pressure state leaders to reverse his 11,000-vote loss to Democrat Joe Biden and organize a slate of illegitimate electors to undermine the process of formalizing Biden’s victory. She has also looked into an attempt by Trump’s allies to manipulate voting equipment in rural Coffee County.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and accuses Willis, an elected Democrat, of being politically motivated.

Earlier on Monday, court documents were briefly published online with a slew of charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit forgery, false statements and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.

Reuters, which later published a copy of the document, said the filing was taken down quickly. A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the report of charges being filed was “inaccurate,” but declined to comment further on a kerfuffle that the Trump legal team rapidly jumped on to attack the integrity of the investigation.

Clark Cunningham, a Georgia State University law professor, said the filing on the court’s website was likely a clerical error listing what charges prosecutors are planning to ask the grand jury to vote on.

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