On Nov. 19, weeks after Election Day in 2020, Jenna Ellis spoke from a podium at the Republican National Committee’s Headquarters and declared that she, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani were members of an “elite strike force” legal team that would prove the election was stolen from Donald Trump. On Monday night, Ellis, Powell, Giuliani, and several other lawyers faced charges for the first time over their roles in Trump’s alleged racketeering conspiracy (RICO) and fake elector scheme in Georgia to remain president.
Lawyers John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, of “coup memo” infamy, and former DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark also face indictments in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ (D) probe. As Law&Crime reported Monday night, the former president was named alongside 18 additional co-defendants in a 41-count criminal indictment.
Each of the aforementioned lawyers is accused of playing a role in furtherance of the overarching RICO offense (with 161 overt acts) in violation of Georgia law. Here’s what you should know about the other charges under the RICO umbrella.
Rudy Giuliani, Kenneth Chesebro, and John Eastman
The former mayor of New York City, who made a name for himself as U.S. Attorney using RICO statutes to prosecute the mafia, is accused of 13 offenses, including: solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, false statements and writings, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first-degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, conspiracy to commit filing false documents (counts 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 23, 24).
Kenneth Chesebro and John Eastman face substantially similar charges (counts 1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19; and 1, 2, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 27), but with fewer charges overall than Giuliani.
In short, the charges they share in a common are: 1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19.
The grand jury indictment alleged that Giuliani, Eastman, and Chesebro “on and between the 6th day of December 2020 and the 14th day of December 2020, unlawfully conspired to cause certain individuals to falsely hold themselves out as the duly elected and qualified presidential electors from the State of Georgia, public officers, with intent to mislead the President of the United States Senate, the Archivist of the United States, the Georgia Secretary of State, and the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia into believing that they actually were such officers.”
The trio of attorneys, and others, also “unlawfully conspired, with the intent to defraud, to knowingly make a document ‘titled “CERTIFICATE OF THE VOTES OF THE 2020 ELECTORS FROM GEORGIA,’ a writing other than a check, in such manner that the writing as made purports to have been made by authority of the duly elected and qualified presidential electors from the State of Georgia, who did not give such authority, and to utter and deliver said document to the Archivist of the United States,” count 11 detailed.
Further, the Trump lawyers “unlawfully conspired to knowingly file, enter, and record a document titled ‘CERTIFICATE OF THE VOTES OF THE 2020 ELECTORS FROM GEORGIA,’ in a court of the United States, having reason to know that said document contained the materially false statement, ‘WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Georgia, do hereby certify the following,”” the indictment continued.
The indictment added that Giuliani, Chesebro, and Eastman “unlawfully conspired, with the intent to defraud, to knowingly make a document titled ‘RE: Notice of Filling of Electoral College Vacancy’” and allegedly used that document “with knowledge that said document contained the false statements that DAVID JAMES SHAFER was Chairman of the 2020 Georgia Electoral College Meeting and SHAWN MICAH TRESHER STILL was Secretary of the 2020 Georgia Electoral College Meeting.”
Only Rudy Giuliani was accused of counts 23 and 24, the latter of which is a false statements and writings charge related to Giuliani’s allegedly knowing and willful falsehoods to members of the Georgia Senate present at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that thousands of felons and dead people — 2,560 and 10,315 respectively (or 12,875 total/more than the 11,780 votes Trump wanted to find) — voted in Georgia.
Jeffrey Clark and Jenna Ellis
Aside from the top RICO charge each defendant faces, Jeffrey Clark and Jenna Ellis each face one criminal count.
Clark was hit with count 22, which states, at length, that Clark lied about the U.S. Department of Justice identifying “significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple State’s, including the State of Georgia” and took “substantial steps” in pushing that falsehood.
And, on or about the 28th day of December 2020, the said accused sent an e-mail to Acting United States Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting United States Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and requested authorization to send said false writing and document to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston, and President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate Butch Miller;
And, on or about the 2nd day of January 2021, the said accused met with Acting United States Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting United States Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and requested authorization to send said false writing and document to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston, and President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate Butch Miller;
And said acts constituted substantial steps toward the commission of False Statements and Writings, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20, and said conduct committed outside the state of Georgia constituted an attempt to commit a crime within the state of Georgia, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § l7- 2-1(b)(2), contrary to the laws of said State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.
Jenna Ellis was indicted alongside Giuliani, Eastman, and Ray Stallings Smith III (another Trump lawyer), for “unlawfully solicit[ing], request[ing], and importun[ing] certain public officers of the Georgia Senate and present at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee meeting” on Dec. 3, 2020 to “engage in conduct constituting the felony offense of Violation of Oath by Public Officer, O.C.G.A.§ 16-10-1, by unlawfully appointing presidential electors from the State of Georgia, in willful and intentional violation of the terms of the oath of said persons as prescribed by law, with intent that said persons engage in said conduct, said date being a material element of the offense, contrary to the laws of said State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.”
Notably, Ellis’ Nov. 19, 2020 presser at the RNC was overt RICO act number 3 in the indictment:
On or about the 19th day of November 2020, RUDOLPH WILLIAM LOUIS GIULIANI, JENNA LYNN ELLIS, SIDNEY KATHERINE POWELL, and unindicted co-
conspirator Individual 3, whose identity is known to the Grand Jury, appeared at a press conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters on behalf of DONALD JOHN TRUMP and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (the “Trump Campaign”) and made false statements concerning fraud in the November 3′, 2020, presidential election in Georgia and elsewhere. These were overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Conservative lawyers Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing worked for the Trump campaign and were on stage in the background as Ellis made the “elite strike force” remark, but they were not mentioned by name in the indictment.
“Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell was once named by Trump in the same breath as Giuliani, diGenova, Toensing, and Ellis, as a member of the “truly great team” of “wonderful lawyers” waging a legal war against the outcome of the election. Though Powell was booted from the “elite strike force” legal team just days after Nov. 19, 2020 presser, she would later say that Trump asked her to be a special counsel to “address the election issues.”
Powell was hit with five counts in addition to the top RICO charge, for allegedly conspiring to commit election fraud, conspiring to commit computer theft, conspiring to commit computer trespass, and conspiring to defraud the state.
The Georgia grand jury charges that Powell “entered into a contract with SullivanStrickler LLC,” paid the IT services company, and “caused employees” of SullivanStrickler LLC to “travel from Fulton County, Georgia, to Coffee County, Georgia, for the purpose of willfully tampering with said electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines” — constituting “overt acts to effect the object of the [RICO] conspiracy.”
Powell “unlawfully conspired and agreed to willfully tamper with electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines in the State of Georgia,” the indictment said, also naming co-defendant Cathleen Latham, who was previously identified as a would-be fake elector, bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall, and former Coffee County former county elections supervisor Misty Hampton.
Those same defendants are accused of conspiring to “use a computer with the intention of examining personal voter data with knowledge that such examination was without authority” and conspiring to “use a computer with knowledge that such use was without authority and with the intention of removing voter data and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation data from said computer.”
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