Donald Trump Supporters Impersonated Georgia Officials, Prosecutor Tells Court

Donald Trump‘s supporters impersonated public officials during the 2020 presidential election, a prosecutor told an Atlanta judge on Thursday.

At the hearing, a prosecutor from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office, Donald Wakeford, told Judge Scott McAfee that Trump was involved in criminal activity and had lied many times about the election result.

“It’s not just that he lied over and over and over again. It is that each of those was employed as part of criminal activity with criminal intentions,” Wakeford said.

It was the first Georgia hearing since Nathan Wade resigned as chief prosecutor in the case following disclosures that he had been in a relationship with Willis, who is overseeing the Trump prosecution.

trump new york speech
Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at 40 Wall Street in New York on March 25, 2024. A Georgia prosecutor claims that Trump supporters impersonated public officals after the 2020 presidential election.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

McAfee held a hearing on Thursday on a motion by Trump’s lawyers that the former president’s indictment for election interference in Georgia is a violation of his free speech rights.

Trump pleaded not guilty to charges of interfering with the presidential election results in Georgia in 2020. The presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, who was indicted along with 18 others, has said the case is politically motivated.

Newsweek sought email comment from Trump’s attorney on Thursday.

Wakeford also said that, by putting forward fake electors to sign off on a Trump victory in Georgia, the former president and his supporters were involved in a conspiracy to impersonate public officials.

He said that electors are considered public officials under Georgia law.

“It’s not that the defendant has been hauled into a courtroom because the prosecution doesn’t like what he said,” Wakeford said. “What he is not allowed to do is employ his speech and his expression and his statements as part of a criminal conspiracy, to violate Georgia’s RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] statute, to impersonate public officers to file false documents, and to make false statements to the government.”

He also accused Trump of trying to rewrite the charges against him.

“What we have heard here today is an attempt to rewrite the indictment to take out the parts that are inconvenient and only say, ‘Well, it’s all speech … and he was just a guy asking questions. All of this is an effort to get Your Honor not to look at the basic fact that this speech, this expression, all this activity is employed as part of a pattern of criminal conduct,” he said.

His comments were in response to Trump’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, who told McAfee that Trump’s criticism of the Georgia election was protected free speech.

“I don’t think there’s any question that statements, comment, speech, expressive conduct that deals with campaigning or elections has always been found to be at the zenith of protected speech,” Sadow said.

“The only reason it becomes unprotected in the State’s opinion is because they call it false,” Sadow added.