LISTEN: The indictment of former President Trump and 18 associates earlier this week encompasses a variety of misdeeds that Fulton County DA Fani Willis says add up to a wide-ranging conspiracy. GPB's Peter Biello speaks with attorney Clint Rucker about the Georgia indictment.

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The indictment of former President Trump and 18 associates earlier this week encompasses a variety of misdeeds that DA Fani Willis says add up to a wide-ranging conspiracy. She charged them under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law. For more insight into this case, we turn to attorney Clint Rucker. He’s a veteran prosecutor who now works with Garland Samuel & Loeb in Atlanta handling criminal defense matters and trial cases. He’s also a judge presiding in the city of East Point and the City of South Fulton. Clint Rucker spoke with GPB’s Peter Biello.

Peter Biello: In this nearly 100-page indictment, what stands out to you about the strength of this case?

Clint Rucker: The thing that really jumped out at me was the factual specificity with respect to the allegations in the indictment. It says to me that this district attorney's office and her team really, really took their time and developed the case such that despite many of the complaints I have heard about how long the investigation took, I would say it's better to be safe than sorry. And certainly this indictment demonstrates to me that they have crossed every "T" and dotted every "I."

Peter Biello: OK. And do you see any major challenges on the road ahead for the prosecution?

Clint Rucker: Well, you know, there are always challenges because the burden rests with the prosecutors to prove each and every essential element in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt. That is not a very easy standard to meet. And certainly, given the other outside dynamics — you know, the status of the defendants and certainly lots of the publicity that has surrounded this case and other cases — I would expect that they're going to be challenges for this DA's office to successfully present this case. But historically, that office has handled high-profile, very complex cases before in the past. They've been very successful with those presentations. And so I would certainly expect no less in this case.

Peter Biello: And Fulton County DA Fani Willis has brought RICO charges before in other cases. Do you have any insight into how effective she is at getting convictions under this statute in particular?

Clint Rucker: Certainly. DA Willis and myself co-presented the only RICO case prior to this one that was ever brought by the Fulton County DA's office. It occurred in 2015 with respect to the Atlanta Public Schools cheating case. And at that time, the RICO statute had not been previously used by that office to bring about criminal charges. And so we both underwent a very intense level of education and training with respect to understanding the RICO act itself in Georgia and also how it can be used and to obtain successful results in in criminal cases. And so I would say she's extremely familiar with the statute.

Peter Biello: Let me ask you about some of the details of this nearly 100-page indictment. Some of the acts described here occurred out of state. Former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured elected officials in, for example, Arizona and Pennsylvania, much like he famously pressured Georgia Secretary of — Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. How much does it matter that some of these actions occurred outside of Georgia?

Clint Rucker: Not much. You know, that is the benefit of using the RICO act. It allows you to bring in other acts in other instances. And they may not necessarily be crimes, but they can be presented in a comprehensive way to give you an overall global picture about how each of these persons would have been engaged in a conspiracy in order to interfere with Georgia's election — electoral process. And so the fact that they are bringing in incidents from out of state I think shows the breadth and the depth under which the investigation took. And it will give the jurors a complete picture.

Peter Biello: The case has been assigned to Judge Scott McAfee. Can you tell us about him and his work as a judge?

Clint Rucker: Sure. Well, first, let me say that Judge McAfee is is a great guy. He's a great person. I know him personally. We worked together for several years in the Fulton County DA's office. Our offices were actually right across the hall from each other at one point. And I found him to be very affable. He's very smart, he's very thoughtful, and he's thorough in terms of how he handles the business of analyzing complex legal issues.