Trump backpedals on release of 'irrefutable' election fraud report
Former president says he will no longer hold 'major news conference' on Monday to counter charges he faces
By Firdevs Bulut Kartal
TORONTO (AA) – Former US President Donald Trump has called off the release of what he said would be "irrefutable" evidence of election fraud in the US state of Georgia where he is indicted on racketeering charges.
Trump had announced the anticipated “major news conference” on Tuesday morning on Truth Social, one day after he and 18 other defendants were indicted in a case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
He said on Tuesday that "a large, complex, detailed, but irrefutable report" on election fraud in Georgia is almost complete and will be presented by him in a major news conference next Monday.
However, the former president took to Truth Social Thursday night, announcing that rather than releasing the report on Monday, his lawyers "would prefer putting this, I believe, Irrefutable & Overwhelming evidence of Election Fraud & Irregularities in formal Legal Filings as we fight to dismiss this disgraceful Indictment."
"Therefore, the news conference is no longer necessary," Trump announced.
Following his announcement on Tuesday, Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp maintained "the 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen."
"For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward - under oath - and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor," he said on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.
A grand jury returned a 41-count indictment late Monday after spending the day hearing testimonies from witnesses, including former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and evaluating evidence from prosecutors. The core of the charges comes from a state law of RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.
Such laws were originally intended to crack down on organized crime, but have been broadened to target various crimes involving multiple individuals, such as Ponzi schemes.
Trump was charged in Georgia with 13 criminal counts, including violations of the Georgia state RICO Act, solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer and conspiracy to commit false statements.
Trump has now been indicted four times in state and federal courts since he left office. The charges range from hush money payments to an adult film star, efforts to overturn national election results, unlawful retention of classified documents, and efforts to prevent investigators from completing their duties.
Willis' probe was sparked by a Jan. 2, 2021 telephone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he urged the senior state official to "find 11,780 votes,” the number he would have needed to win the battleground state. A recording of the call was later leaked to the media.
The investigation went on to include a probe of fake local electors who attempted to certify fraudulent election results in Trump's favor.
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