Sweeping indictment could be Trump's biggest legal challenge yet: ANALYSIS
Numerous charges haven't yet slowed the former president's 2024 campaign.
The yearslong probe of former President Donald Trump and his allies by Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis may prove to be Trump's toughest legal challenge yet.
Willis is pursuing charges for Trump and 18 others under Georgia's racketeering or RICO law related to efforts to overturn 2020 election results in the state.
"Trump and the other Defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump," the indictment reads.
If convicted, the charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. A presidential pardon couldn't absolve Trump or the others from such a punishment.
While any resolution in this case is long off, the political implications could come to the fore much sooner.
These Georgia charges are just the latest slate added to the lengthy list of criminal charges Trump is facing in multiple jurisdictions, where he has entered a not guilty plea in each case.
What was once unprecedented -- a former president facing criminal charges -- has fallen into a familiar cadence. Now that the sweeping indictment has been announced, the country will wait for the former president to appear in a Georgia courtroom. Trump and his campaign will decry the charges. His campaign will likely fundraise off of these charges.
Trump and his campaign continue to conflate his personal legal problems with the cause of his political movement, using the charges as a tool to gin up his base. It has been working. Numerous charges haven't slowed his campaign yet.
After the announcement of the indictment late Monday, Trump's campaign claimed that the charges were an attempt to "suppress the choice of the people" and went on to describe it as "un-American and wrong."
Despite his first three indictments, Trump still far outpaces his GOP primary rivals. It's hard to see how this case could, regardless of its seriousness, put a dent in his steady support with the Republican base.
"He's making himself a martyr, and a lot of the American people are going behind him because they feel like some of these things are a little bit of a stretch," said Gabe Sterling, chief operating officer in the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, in an interview on ABC News' "This Week" ahead of the indictment.
What remains to be seen is how the Trump campaign will balance the former president's legal calendar with the political calendar. The two are going to be on a collision course as critical early state contests approach early next year. Willis expressed that she wants to bring this Georgia case to trial in the next six months. Trump's federal case could begin related to Jan. 6 could begin as early as Jan. 2 of next year, just days before the Iowa caucuses.