A Georgia indictment has been issued against former President Donald Trump, accusing him of spreading at least 27 falsehoods about the 2020 election as part of his efforts to overturn its results. This marks the second indictment in recent weeks that effectively fact-checks Trump’s campaign of misleading statements related to the election. An earlier federal indictment in August, which also charged Trump for attempting to undermine the democratic process, listed 21 instances of his election-related untruths.
While there is notable overlap between the falsehoods cited in both indictments, the Fulton County document focuses more on Trump’s false claims specifically related to Georgia. Many of these claims were made during a phone conversation on January 2, 2021, between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In this call, Trump pressured Raffensperger to find enough votes to secure a victory for himself in the state that Joe Biden had won.
The Fulton County indictment charges Trump with making false statements to Raffensperger, submitting misleading information to the court, and conspiring to use illegitimate pro-Trump electors, among other offenses. The indictment also highlights numerous falsehoods from 18 Trump associates who have also been charged, prominently including his former attorney Rudy Giuliani. However, this article specifically focuses on false statements attributed directly to Trump himself.
- Trump’s False Claim of Being the True Victor of the 2020 Election. (Indictment Page 20)
This is the overarching falsehood propagated by Trump regarding the election. He was definitively defeated by Biden in a fair competition, with an Electoral College tally of 306-232. There exists no substantial evidence of widespread fraud capable of altering the outcome in any state.
2.Trump’s Unfounded Assertion of Election Corruption in 2020. (Indictment Page 45)
As outlined in the Fulton County indictment, akin to the federal indictment on election subversion, it is alleged that on December 27, 2020, Trump made the following statement in a conversation with two senior officials from the Justice Department, acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue: “Simply declare the election as corrupt and entrust the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.” (Donoghue documented this purported remark by Trump in his handwritten notes.)
3.Trump’s Erroneous Claim of Winning Georgia in 2020. (Indictment Pages 44 and 52)
Despite the final of the state’s three vote tallies, completed in early December 2020, confirming his defeat by Biden with a margin of 11,779 votes, Trump has perpetuated this falsehood. The state’s Republican governor and secretary of state certified the election results and have consistently affirmed its legitimacy. The Fulton County indictment alleges that in a call with the chief investigator of Raffensperger’s office on December 23, 2020, Trump falsely asserted that he had secured victory in Georgia “by hundreds of thousands of votes.” Furthermore, the indictment highlights that during the January 2, 2021 call with Raffensperger, Trump inaccurately stated, “And the actual truth is that I secured victory by 400,000 votes, at the very least.”
4.Trump’s False Assertion of Winning Other Swing States in 2020. (Indictment Page 46)
Despite the fact that he did not secure victory in those states, particularly the swing states of Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Trump unequivocally made this claim in a tweet on December 30, 2020.
5.Trump’s Fabrication of “Massive VOTER FRAUD” in Georgia. (Indictment Page 48)
On December 30, 2020, Trump disseminated this baseless assertion in another tweet. There is no substantiated evidence of significant fraud in Georgia or any other state during the 2020 election.
6.Trump’s Falsehood Regarding Excessive False and/or Irregular Votes in Georgia. (Indictment Page 68)
In a letter to Raffensperger in September 2021, nearly eight months after Biden’s inauguration, Trump falsely alleged that the number of erroneous or irregular votes exceeded what was necessary to alter the Georgia election outcome. This claim is patently impossible.
7.Trump’s Unfounded Tale of a Supposedly Mysterious Georgia Ballot Influx. (Indictment Page 51)
During the January 2, 2021 call with Raffensperger, Trump misleadingly contended that a mysterious influx of 250-300,000 ballots occurred in Georgia. In actuality, no enigmatic ballot drops took place. Legitimate ballots were counted and added to the public totals, with urban areas, which typically took longer to complete their counts, favoring Biden.
8.Trump’s Deceptive Assertion of Ballots Being “Dumped” in Fulton County and Adjacent County. (Indictment Page 88)
During the call with Raffensperger, Trump falsely alleged that improper ballots were “dumped” into Fulton County and a neighboring county, asserting that checking with Fulton County would unveil a substantial number of such ballots. This claim is unfounded.
9.Trump’s Inaccurate Claim of Thousands of Deceased Individuals Voting in Georgia. (Indictment Pages 9 and 88)
In the call, Trump falsely stated that close to 5,000 ballots were cast under the names of deceased individuals. Raffensperger corrected him, stating that the actual number was just two, which was later updated to four. Claims made by the Trump campaign in late 2020 about such ballots were swiftly debunked.
10.Trump’s Unsubstantiated Assertion of Thousands Voting Without Being on the Registration List. (Indictment Page 51)
Raffensperger confirmed in his 2021 book that all voters were indeed registered, contradicting Trump’s claim made during the call that around 4,502 individuals voted in Georgia without being on the registration list. No evidence supporting Trump’s assertion was presented.
11.Trump’s False Accusation of Ballot Box Stuffing by a Fulton County Worker. (Indictment Page 88)
Trump has repeatedly lied about Ruby Freeman, an elections worker in Fulton County, falsely alleging that she was caught on video stuffing the ballot box and fraudulently attributing a minimum of 18,000 votes to Biden. Freeman, her daughter, and others were exonerated by a state investigation.
12.Trump’s Erroneous Labeling of Freeman as a “Professional Vote Scammer.” (Indictment Page 88)
Trump made this false characterization of Freeman to Raffensperger during the call. However, Freeman’s actions were found to be without wrongdoing.
13.Trump’s Fabrication of Thousands Denied Voting in Georgia Due to Preexisting Ballot. (Indictment Page 88)
This is another concocted assertion Trump made during his call with Raffensperger. Raffensperger clarified in his book that no reports existed of thousands being denied the right to vote. Had such a situation arisen, it would have garnered national media attention.
14.Trump’s False Allegation of Raffensperger’s Unwillingness to Address Claims. (Indictment Page 52)
Contrary to Trump’s tweet on the day after the call, Raffensperger and his team had indeed addressed and refuted all of Trump’s false claims, including the allegations of a “ballots under table” scheme, ballot destruction, out-of-state voters, deceased voters, and more, during their conversation.
15.Trump’s Inaccurate Statement About Felons Voting in Georgia. (Indictment Page 86)
Trump falsely claimed in a December 2020 legal filing that “as many as 2,560 felons with an uncompleted sentence” were allowed to vote in Georgia. Raffensperger’s January 6, 2021 letter to Congress contradicted this, revealing that an analysis conducted by his team indicated the maximum potential number of felon voters was 74, and all of them were under investigation.
16.Trump’s Groundless Assertion of Underage Voters in Georgia. (Indictment Page 49)
In a December 2020 legal filing, Trump baselessly asserted that Georgia had “at least 66,247” underage voters. Raffensperger’s January 6, 2021 letter to Congress refuted this, revealing that the actual number of underage voters was zero.
17.Trump’s Deceptive Claims of Voting With Post Office Box Addresses. (Indictment Pages 49 and 88)
Trump inaccurately stated in the December 2020 legal filing that “at least 1,043 individuals” unlawfully voted in Georgia using post office box addresses. During the subsequent call with Raffensperger, he revised the number to 904 people. Both figures lacked factual basis, as Raffensperger’s letter to Congress revealed that many of the addresses Trump referenced were, in fact, apartments.
18.Trump’s Unfounded Assertion That Certified Vote Totals Were Tainted. (Indictment Page 63)
On January 6, 2021, Trump tweeted a baseless claim that certified vote totals in various states were marred by irregularities and fraud. This assertion was not supported by the election chiefs and governors responsible for the certification process.
19.Trump’s Misrepresentation of Pence’s Authority to Reject Electoral Votes. (Indictment Pages 57, 60-62)
Contrary to Trump’s insistence, Pence correctly communicated that he lacked the constitutional or legal authority to return electoral votes to the states, a fact affirmed by Trump’s White House lawyers. This assertion was repeated in tweets and a speech on January 5 and 6, 2021.
20.Trump’s Falsehood About Agreement with Pence on Vice Presidential Powers. (Indictment Page 61)
Despite a January 5, 2021 statement issued by Trump’s campaign claiming agreement on vice presidential powers with Pence, the reality was that Pence had consistently disagreed with Trump’s position.
21.Trump’s Inaccurate Statement Regarding Detroit Voter Turnout. (Indictment Page 88)
During his call with Raffensperger, Trump falsely claimed that Detroit had a voter turnout of “139%.” In truth, Detroit’s turnout was 51%.
22.Trump’s Baseless Claim of Excess Votes in Pennsylvania. (Indictment Page 88)
Despite being informed by Rosen and Donoghue that his assertion was false, Trump reiterated on the call with Raffensperger and in a subsequent rally speech that Pennsylvania had more votes than voters.
23.Trump’s Unsubstantiated Accusations of Election Fraud in Pennsylvania. (Indictment Page 21)
Trump propagated false statements about election fraud in Pennsylvania during a November 25, 2020 meeting with state legislators, echoing Giuliani’s deceptive remarks.
24.Trump’s False Assertions of Election Fraud in Arizona. (Indictment Page 23)
During a November 30, 2020 meeting with state legislators in Arizona, Trump made groundless claims about election fraud, including wrongly asserting victory in the state.
25.Trump’s Inaccurate Claim of Deceased Voters in Michigan. (Indictment Page 51)
On the call with Raffensperger, Trump falsely suggested that Michigan had “thousands and thousands” of deceased voters, estimating around 18,000. These claims were refuted by CNN and others in 2020.
26.Trump’s Broader Falsehoods About Election Fraud in Michigan. (Indictment Page 21)
The indictment states that Trump disseminated false statements about election fraud in Michigan during a November 20 meeting with state Republican legislators in the Oval Office.
27.Trump’s False Characterization of Phony Pro-Trump Electors. (Indictment Page 76 and others)
Trump was implicated in a plot to present fake pro-Trump Electoral College electors in swing states won by Biden. This scheme aimed to deceive various individuals, including Pence, Raffensperger, the chief archivist, and a district court judge.