Racist attacks can’t hide massive lawlessness on display in Fulton County, Georgia

Marc H. Morial

“With Trump, you don’t need to look for a dog whistle. It’s a bull horn when it comes to race. And I do think that’s deliberate. We’ve seen the — I mean, slanderous attacks that he has put out against Fani Willis, you know, alleged things I won’t even repeat. So, he’s not really hiding that he’s going to lean into that element, and this is, you know, taking place just outside of Atlanta. When you saw the courtroom, it was a lot of Black men and women who are serving in that courtroom  …  It’s textbook Donald Trump but it comes as no surprise.” – Former White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah 

If anything illustrates the depths to which Donald Trump and his supporters have sunk in responding to his racketeering indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, it’s his reference to those he falsely accuses of voter fraud as “riggers.” 

MAGA extremists, who have been using the word as a substitute for the n-word on far-right social media sites, responded with racist delight. 

Trump has put a dishonest, racist, and misogynistic spin on the old legal adage: If the law is against you, pound the facts. If the facts are against you, pound the law. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell. 

But no amount of pounding and yelling can obscure the breathtaking lawlessness outlined in the sweeping indictment Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed against Trump and his 18 alleged co-conspirators. By charging them under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Willis has at last cast their brazenly corrupt conduct in the proper legal light.  

While the narrowly-focused federal indictment that Special Counsel Jack Smith filed against Trump earlier this month acknowledges six alleged co-conspirators, they are neither identified nor charged.  Fulton County’s indictment of 18 co-conspirators – and reference to 30 more unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators – illustrates the far-reaching scope of the massive scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

Trump’s alleged criminal enterprise operated not only in Fulton County, but “elsewhere in the State of Georgia, in other states, including, but not limited to, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and in the District of Columbia.”  Its members engaged in “various related criminal activities including, but not limited to, false statements and writings, impersonating a public officer, forgery, filing false documents, influencing witnesses, computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the state, acts involving theft, and perjury.” 

Omitted from the federal indictment was an alleged conspiracy to breach voting equipment and access voter data. “In Georgia, members of the enterprise stole data, including ballot images, voting equipment software, and personal voter information. The stolen data was then distributed to other members of the enterprise, including members in other states.”  Nor does the federal indictment refer to a bizarre plan, advocated by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, to use the military to seize voting machines around the country and re-run parts of the election. 

Future historians will rely on Fulton County’s case, not the federal government’s, for the full story of one of the darkest chapters in American history. The meticulous work of Willis and her team is all the more remarkable given the constant abuse and threats of violence, incited by Trump, that his supporters have hurled at them. Regardless of the outcome, Team Willis as well as the witnesses and grand jurors whom MAGA extremists also have targeted, will emerge as the heroes. 

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