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Fulton indictment in 2020 Georgia election probe could increase polarization going into 2024

The Georgia capital, which could face criminal charges within days in connection with its 2020 election interference, is poised to once again play a major role in Donald Trump’s political ambitions.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office expects District Attorney Fanny Willis to present evidence to a grand jury of several people with ties to the former president who allegedly tried to avert Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election. Security has been tightened around the downtown Atlanta courthouse through August 18. Presented to Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden in Georgia.

Political experts say that if the current Republican front-runner wins the primary for a 2024 rematch with Biden, the potential repercussions in Fulton County and several other pending investigations are likely. predicts it will dominate national headlines heading into March’s primary and November’s general election.

According to Neelin Parker, executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated nonprofit Common Ground USA, the gulf between political polarization and public trust in democracy is widening, with states such as Georgia The health of the 2024 election is threatened in major states.

Despite the controversy, Trump maintains a healthy lead in the polls over his main Republican opponent, according to recent national polls, putting him in a close race with Biden. Recent survey results point to wide political divides, with less than half of Americans saying they are confident. Votes are counted accurately in the 2024 presidential election. Only 22% of Republicans believe votes will be counted accurately in the upcoming presidential election, compared with 71% of Democrats, according to a poll this summer by the AP-NORC Center for Public Information and Research. .

Parker, a lecturer on political polarization at Princeton University, said, “It’s a product of polarization, where people start to go into a confirmation bias, wanting to hear only people they agree with, and then they don’t know what they already know.” It will make us reconfirm that we are “For someone like me, who often worked in countries recovering from war, it’s scary not to understand how people can think differently.”

Earlier this summer, Willis told a Fulton judge that Republican political figures and other supporters with close ties to Trump could face extortion, conspiracy, solicitation, and other election-related criminal charges. He called for the court schedule to be cleared ahead of the historic and imminent ruling on whether the court could be sentenced. Conspiracy to reverse Trump’s defeat in 2020.

President Trump has consistently branded the various investigations as politically biased hoaxes aimed at preventing him from winning a second term in the White House. The business mogul and many of his supporters say the 2020 elections in Georgia and several other battleground states will threaten him by mass vote collection, illegal ballot counting, and ballot reversal by electronic voting machine systems. continue to baselessly claim that it was stolen from

These conspiracy theories have been repeatedly debunked by investigations by multiple federal and state election officials, law enforcement and cybersecurity agencies.

A third indictment was added to President Trump’s list of criminal election cases on Aug. 4, handed down by U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith. 4 count The indictment alleges that the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol and President Trump’s illegal attempts to cover up election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. or making false statements about the results.

Last week, President Trump pleaded not guilty to 30 counts of alleged mishandling of classified documents, mostly stored at the Mar-a-Lago Club mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.

Parker cited the difficult transitions from dictatorships to democracy in post-apartheid South Africa and Chile as optimistic examples of what the United States can learn in bridging the polarized divide in the future.

Also, in 1989, many Germans were aware of the large-scale social structure that was imminent even in the weeks leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, which for decades symbolized the Cold War and divided Germany. Parker said he hadn’t noticed the change. Added.

“There are many ways to make the situation right, but we have to actively choose a different, less polarizing direction, which can be particularly difficult,” she said. I often say today is the best day to depolarize elections. Because each day gets a little more difficult as we head towards the high-profile event. “

David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, says lessons can still be learned from Trump’s aftermath, even though many downplay the impact of false election claims. Stated.

Becker is a “principled conservative Republican who has told the truth about the election and acknowledged that it would be just as bad if the Democrats did something similar and that the Democrats should be held accountable. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of

In early 2022, Willis started an investigation After the release of a recording of a phone call in which President Trump asked Republican Secretary of State Brad Ravensperger to “find” enough votes to change the outcome of the 2020 election.

Legal analysts predict the success of Trump’s prosecution will depend on whether his demands against Ravensperger exceed the legal threshold of soliciting and conspiring to commit election fraud. .

In an extensive investigation that began last summer and lasted for several months, a special purpose grand jury heard testimony from more than 70 witnesses, considered other evidence, and directed district attorneys to bring charges against several anonymous individuals. issued a report recommending criminal prosecution. They believed they had committed perjury.

Among the high-profile grand jury witnesses was President Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who in the weeks following the 2020 election fomented an election fraud conspiracy while He urged lawmakers in Georgia to intervene on Trump’s behalf. Other Trump allies subpoenaed in the case include former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham from South Carolina, and the fake Republican Georgia who voted for Trump. Including electors.

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