FanFormer U.S. President Donald Trump has been indicted (summoned to face criminal charges) again.
The latest indictment, handed down in the state of Georgia, is Trump’s fourth, and the second one relating to his 2020 election denial.
This time, Trump and 18 others face charges under laws often used to prosecute crime gangs.
Here’s what you need to know.
The indictments so far
Trump has been indicted four times:
First, in the state of New York, on charges relating to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Second, by the Federal Department of Justice (DoJ), on charges of mishandling classified documents.
Third, by the DoJ again, on charges relating to the 2020 election denial.
Fourth, this week in the state of Georgia, again over election denial.
The Georgia indictment
This week, Trump and 18 others, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, were indicted on charges of ‘racketeering’ – an organised criminal scheme – punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The indictment says the scheme was “to unlawfully change the outcome of the [2020 Presidential] election in favour of Trump”.
Trump and others in the group are accused of creating false electoral documents, lying to election officials and trying to ‘solicit’ (encourage) others to participate in their scheme.
Fani Willis, the District Attorney in Georgia’s Fulton County, laid the charges. A grand jury of ordinary citizens recommend them.
What does it mean for Trump?
District Attorney Willis could not say when Trump will be tried but said she’ll ask for a trial in the next six months.
Meanwhile, Trump has continued to campaign for re-election next year and dismissed all charges against him as politically-motivated. He can continue to run even if he is convicted on any charge.
In a social media post attacking Willis yesterday, Trump claimed “the only Election Interference was done by those that Rigged and Stole the Election”.
Could Trump go to jail?
This is not the first time Trump has been faced with charges that carry prison time if convicted.
However, these charges are different for two reasons. First, they are state-based. Sitting presidents are typically immune from being prosecuted on federal charges, but not state charges, which means Trump could not escape these charges by getting elected.
Second, Trump could not be pardoned by either a future President or by a future Georgia Governor, since the state of Georgia does not allow Governors to grant pardons.