Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose jurisdiction is in the Atlanta area, has brought on Atlanta lawyer and racketeering expert John Floyd to assist with her office’s ongoing criminal investigation of attempts by ex-President Donald Trump and his allies to get Joe Biden’s Georgia presidential election victory overturned. Willis already indicated in a letter to state officials that she was looking at possible crimes including racketeering, which involves organized corruption — like the effort that Trump and his allies waged to discredit and attempt to overturn the presidential election results.
As Reuters explains, Floyd’s hiring “bolsters the team investigating Trump as Willis prepares to issue subpoenas for evidence on whether the former president and his allies broke the law in their campaign to pressure state officials to reverse his Georgia election loss.” Trump’s effort included, perhaps most infamously, a phone conversation in which the then-president pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to “find” enough votes to flip the state from Biden to Trump.
Prosecuting Trump on a racketeering charge would require prosecutors to prove that the then-president was “insincere” in his stated belief that the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud, former federal prosecutor Kurt Kastorf explained to Reuters. Trump bolstered his demand for Raffensperger to “find” votes by insisting that he himself was inappropriately denied victory in the first place, although in reality, following through on Trump’s demand would have required fraudulently doctoring the election results.
If, in theoretical future criminal proceedings involving a potential racketeering charge against Trump, his side argues that the ex-president genuinely did not grasp the reality that following through on his demand for Raffensperger would have required fraud, then what does that say about the former president’s understanding of the basic circumstances the reality around him? Pretending like there’s no willful element of Trump’s potentially criminal efforts to meddle in the election outcome is ridiculous. How could he have not known what he was doing?
Willis’s personal experience as a prosecutor actually includes successful convictions on racketeering charges of almost a dozen public educators for their roles in a test cheating scandal. Floyd — the new addition to Willis’s team — actually worked with Willis, when she was assistant district attorney, on a racketeering case connected to that scandal, so not only does Willis have experience in handling racketeering charges, she and Floyd have joint experience.
Of course, racketeering isn’t the only potential charge that could emerge from the ongoing investigation. Other potential eventual charges include solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, and conspiracy, and besides Trump, individuals whose actions are also under scrutiny include his longtime ally Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who were also involved in the Georgia pressure campaign.