An indictment against Georgia Trump may not lead to a guilty verdict against Trump

It happened: Donald Trump has been presented with a fourth indictment, this time by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, for allegedly tampering with the outcome of the 2020 Georgia presidential election. But before anyone gets too excited, there’s a chance these allegations may not all stand.

As someone who has successfully run for office 13 times, neither I nor my campaign team have ever had a reason to call a district commissioner to complain about a result. In fact, I often joke, quite boastfully and jokingly, that’s 13-0, undefeated, uncharged and undeterred.

Before anyone gets too excited: there’s a chance these allegations won’t stand.

In 2006, my campaign manager, Shawn Millan, noticed a serious discrepancy in an unofficial county chart that added several hundred votes to my opponents’ total votes. Shawn politely informed the county election officials of what he and I believed to be an inadvertent, incorrect implementation of a constituency lineup that was exposed and corrected after the election was officially confirmed.

No one thought anything nefarious was happening – just an honest mistake that was quickly spotted and corrected. This episode had absolutely no impact on the outcome of the election and was a perfectly appropriate communication between my campaign and election officials.

Compare that to former President Donald Trump’s “perfect conversation” with Georgia’s Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger. In that recorded hour-long call, Trump berated Raffensperger and demanded he find nearly 12,000 votes, alleging massive voter fraud. In an overwhelming act of audacity, Trump even went so far as to suggest that Raffensperger could face legal jeopardy if he didn’t settle the Georgia election in favor of the former president. Remember that at the time of this call, the former President was in charge of the US Department of Justice. That’s no small threat. Where I come from, that takes a lot of courage.

If any other elected official had tried to pressure a state or county election official in a publicly released audio recording and instructed that same official to get 500, 5,000 or 15,000 votes to change the outcome of a free and fair election, I can Assure you the defaulting elected official would be immediately investigated by state or federal law enforcement and likely to be charged shortly. Point. In the case of Trump, things are simple and straightforward. His words are self-incriminating.

An indictment of Trump in Georgia might not make a significant difference in the Republican presidential primary, but it would put him at greater risk than he already is in the 2024 general election. Far too many Republican leaders have become obsessed with pleasing and flattering Trump. Rather than insulting the former president, they have subordinated and sidelined victory in otherwise hard-fought races. In other words, you made losing great again.

But none of this means that Trump will be condemned for his wrongdoing. In addition to the bellicose delaying tactics employed by Trump and his legal teams, Willis has already committed a number of missteps that lead some to see her as overly partisan. For a prosecutor on such a high-profile matter, that may not be a good impression. And Trump’s lawyers will no doubt pounce on every single example of partisanship in the trial. Additionally, Trump’s hour-long call is peppered with his classic word salad statements, which his attorneys are likely to claim are merely insinuations that he didn’t really mean to steal the election, making prosecutors’ case harder to prove. Willis also has a complicated 19-strong defendant pool and must deal with a complicated scheduling issue that could delay the trial for years.

It seems to me that the classified documents case still represents the clearest legal threat Trump faces of all these investigations.

Contrast this with the federal investigation led by Jack Smith, who was appointed and not elected, into the January 6 classified documents and affairs, in which there are no credible allegations of partisanship. It seems to me that the classified documents case still represents the clearest legal threat Trump faces of all these investigations. Knowingly going into hiding with secret documents, concealing these documents and then preventing their return may be difficult to explain in the process

And as damning as Trump’s call to Raffensperger was, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Trump, if convicted, would ever serve a minute in a Georgia correctional facility, especially with the other federal cases pending.

This whole Trump legal morass is unprecedented. No past president has ever faced such legal danger. Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal pales in comparison to the myriad legal woes Trump faces.


The threat Trump poses to the rule of law and constitutional order is real. His misconduct in office is well documented, as is his chaotic and abusive leadership style. Voters in 2020 dismissed all this madness for a more conventional president in Joe Biden.

How this noise about Trump will translate into a court case against the former president in Georgia remains unclear. At this point, it doesn’t seem at all certain that Trump will be convicted in Georgia.

Still, I suspect that any other elected official who made a statement similar to Trump’s would certainly be convicted.

But no one ever said life was fair.