President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump took the field at the start of the College Football Playoff National Championship game between the LSU Tigers and the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The LSU Tigers beat the Clemson Tigers, 42-25.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump take the field at the start of the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 2020 in New Orleans. Trump in August 2023 was indicted for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot.

Credit: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

Five pages were devoted to Georgia in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s federal indictment of Donald J. Trump with considerable mentions of activities that might pique the interest of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Georgia was mentioned 48 times in Jack Smith’s indictment which lays out the former president’s attempt to defraud the United States. The indictment referenced events including the Nov. 25, 2020, lawsuit against Dominion Voting Machines and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp erroneously claiming “massive voter fraud.” It also includes the Dec. 14, 2020, meeting led by former Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer to nominate Trump for president and the infamous Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which Trump asked for “11,780 votes.”

While Stacey Abrams officiated the real and ceremonial certification of the actual Georgia results, Shafer officiated what was described as an “education meeting” along with the following individuals:

  • Then-state senator and current Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones
  • State Sen. Shawn Still of Norcross
  • Cathleen Alston Latham (the former Coffee County GOP Chairwoman)
  • Joseph Brannan
  • James “Ken” Carroll
  • Vikki Townsend Consiglio
  • Carolyn Hall Fisher (former Forsyth County GOP Chair and former vice-chair of the Georgia GOP),
  • Gloria Kay Godwin 
  • David G. Hanna
  • Mark W. Hennessy 
  • Mark Amick
  • John Downey
  • Daryl Moody 
  • Brad Carver
  • C.B. Yadav

The Georgia Republican Party has since retained legal counsel in efforts to protect these individuals from any possible legal entanglement. 

Speaking of those results, the Special Counsel’s indictment also references Trump’s insistence of challenging the results in Georgia, even though he knew he was running a fool’s errand. Why? His options at that time were running out because his legal challenges in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were unsuccessful. 

The first recount revealed no fraud. President Trump would continue to fight the result, even though his wish for a recount was approved due to the percentage margins. Trump also falsely claimed that 10,000 dead people voted and there was rampant fraud at State Farm Arena. 

“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said. “As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or of courts or of either campaign.”

Meanwhile, Sidney Powell, a likely one of the six unnamed co-conspirators in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s federal indictment, used the proverbial blow torch and fanned the flames. The following comments and her conduct have been referenced throughout Smith’s and Willis’s investigations:

“Georgia’s probably going to be the first state I’m going to blow up and Mr. Kemp and the secretary of state need to go with it,” Powell said. “Because they’re in on the Dominion scam with their last-minute purchase or award of a contract to Dominion of $100 million. The state bureau of investigation for Georgia ought to be looking into financial benefits received by Mr. Kemp and the secretary of state’s family about that time.”

On Jan. 3, 2021, Trump infamously called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and told him, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.” 

Fani Willis announced she’d open her investigation into Trump’s activities in Georgia on February 2021.

Fulton County Sheriff says he’ll treat Trump like anyone else

With those events serving as a backdrop, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat told everyone during a Tuesday afternoon press conference that his office would be ready to receive the former United States president if he were to be indicted. 

“If an indictment came today, we would be ready,” said Labat. “We look forward to an opportunity to show the world that we are ready.”

Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat and former Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant attend the State of the City Address at the Georgia World Congress Center on Monday, April 4, 2022.

Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat and former Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant attend the State of the City Address at the Georgia World Congress Center on Monday, April 4, 2022.

Credit: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice

Labat added that the sheriff’s office will follow, “normal practices, and so it doesn’t matter your status. We’ll have mug shots ready for you.”

Those practices also include fingerprints. For Trump’s sake, it may or may not include a photo-op for a perp walk. 

Labat also said his team has learned from previous indictments in New York City, Miami and now Washington, D.C. The sheriff said they are preparing while collaborating with local, county, state and federal law enforcement. 

Tuesday’s press conference comes after District Attorney Willis received disparaging and racist emails with threats to her, Sheriff Labat, and others within the county as Trump’s legal troubles can potentially shift to Georgia.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with The Atlanta Voice