Trump “begging for trouble” with Georgia judge, lawyer warns

Donald Trump’s latest Truth Social posts may cause “trouble” for the former president as he faces a looming indictment in the Fulton County, Georgia, investigation into his alleged actions surrounding the 2020 presidential election, legal experts said.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to announce new charges against Trump as early as Tuesday in her investigation into whether his 2021 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—in which Trump allegedly pleaded with him to find enough votes to tilt the election in his favor—violated state election interference laws, as well as the alleged plot to submit a false slate of electors to thwart President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Trump has maintained his innocence, accusing Willis of targeting him for political purposes and asserting that he did nothing wrong following the 2020 presidential election. He has taken to his social media platform Truth Social to criticize Willis’ investigations, at times launching personal attacks against her.

In his latest post, Trump said former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan should “not” testify before the grand jury.

Former President Donald Trump on the 16th tee during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club on August 13, 2023, in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump’s latest Truth Social posts are “begging for trouble” ahead of an anticipated indictment in Georgia, lawyer Bradley P. Moss said.
Mike Stobe/Getty

“I am reading reports that failed former Lt. Governor of Georgia, [Geoff] Duncan, will be testifying before the Fulton County Grand Jury. He shouldn’t. I barely know him but he was, right from the beginning of this Witch Hunt, a nasty disaster for those looking into the Election Fraud that took place in Georgia,” Trump wrote.

His remarks drew condemnation from several legal experts.

Attorney Bradley P. Moss, a regular critic of the former president, responded to Trump’s post on X, formerly Twitter.

He is now taunting grand jury witnesses in Georgia. Just begging for trouble from whatever judge gets assigned that case if, as expected, Willis indicts him tomorrow,” Moss wrote.

Moss told Newsweek in a statement Monday morning that he would be surprised if his posts were not discussed during his arraignment.

“Mr. Trump is clearly testing the boundaries to see just how far the courts will let him go without pushback,” Moss wrote. “More so than his comments regarding Judge [Tanya] Chutkan, his attempt to intimidate an apparent grand jury witness today in Georgia is just egregiously improper and warrants some kind of action. It would be surprising if those kinds of posts don’t show up as a topic of discussion at his arraignment.”

The Department of Justice this month indicted Trump for his alleged role in the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Chutkan is overseeing the case.

Ex-GOP Attorney George Conway responded to a separate post in which Trump doubled down on his election frauds by claiming that “the people who tampered with [the election] were the ones that rigged it” by posting to X that he is “so looking forward to the mug shot.”

Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis posted: “Add witness tampering to the potential predicate acts for a Georgia RICO charge. O.C.G.A. § 16-10-93. This is blatantly unlawful stuff.”

Former U.S. Attorney and University of Michigan law professor Barbara McQuade described the post as “witness tampering in real time.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign via email for comment.

If the Fulton County grand jury decides to charge Trump, it would be his fourth indictment of the year and the second related to his alleged efforts to overturn the election results. The Department of Justice indicted him this month on charges related to the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol after indicting him in their investigation related to classified documents allegedly found at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with falsifying business records regarding a hush money payment allegedly made during his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has maintained his innocence in each case.

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