Trump Faces 'Clear-Cut Criminal Exposure' in Georgia: Attorney

The investigation into former President Donald Trump's efforts to change the 2020 election results in Georgia is the "most clear-cut criminal exposure" he is facing, according to at least one legal expert.

Fani Willis, the district attorney for Georgia's Fulton County, last year opened an investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's election victory in her state. Leaked audio revealed in January 2021 that Trump, while still serving as president, pressured Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to "find 11,780 votes" to flip the results in his favor.

The probe has zeroed in on prominent Trump allies in recent days, as Willis has been presenting evidence and issuing subpoenas with a grand jury she convened in May. The district attorney sent so-called "target letters" to several high profile Georgia Republicans who were allegedly part of a plot to overturn the state's election results in connection with Trump and his team.

Donald Trump in Georgia
Former President Donald Trump is facing "clear-cut criminal exposure" in Georgia, according to a legal expert. Above, Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally on March 26 in Georgia. Megan Varner/ Getty Images

"The Fulton County probe represents the most clear-cut criminal exposure facing Mr. Trump," Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer and partner in the Law Office of Mark S. Zaid, told The Hill for an article published on Saturday.

"There is audio, there is witness testimony, there is documentation, and all of that is currently before a special grand jury. The only question is whether Mr. Trump's actions were sufficient to bring a criminal charge against him alone and independent of anyone else, or if the Fulton County DA will need to encompass his fragmented actions within a broader conspiracy charge tied to individuals like Mr. Giuliani and the fake electors," Moss explained.

Other legal experts have pointed to the probe in Georgia, assessing that it appears to be the strongest case against Trump that could result in criminal charges.

"Even now the proof is there, for example, with respect to strong-arming Raffensperger to steal the votes of Georgia, that's already there," Laurence Tribe, professor emeritus of constitutional law at Harvard University, told CBS News on Wednesday. "That's why I expect an indictment from Fani Willis in Fulton County, Georgia, even before an indictment from the Department of Justice."

Attorney Norman Eisen, who previously served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's first impeachment, made a similar prediction regarding the Georgia probe in comments to The New York Times last week.

"I do believe that the great likelihood is that he's heading towards an indictment," Eisen told the Times, referring to Trump. "There is powerful proof of violations of Georgia law in the form of the smoking gun tape of him demanding 11,780 votes, when it is perfectly clear from that tape that he knows those votes do not exist."

Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment.

Trump Defends Himself

The former president insists that he did nothing wrong in the wake of the 2020 election. Trump describes all investigations into him and his allies as "witch hunts," which he contends are politically motivated. He also continues to claim that Biden's win was fraudulent, but no evidence has emerged corroborating the allegation.

To the contrary, audits and recounts—including in areas where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans—have consistently reaffirmed Trump's loss. Meanwhile, a number of top officials from his own administration have said the claims are without merit. Dozens of legal challenges brought by the former president and his allies in state and federal courts failed in the wake of the last presidential election.

Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, has stated repeatedly that the claims of widespread voter fraud are "bulls**t."

"I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with—he's become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff," Barr testified before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack against the Capitol.