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Donald Trump could have more to worry about now in his Georgia probe

Fulton County DA Fani Willis reportedly is looking at election activities outside of Georgia as well. That could put evidence of a bigger pattern in front of a jury.


As we await potential charges against Donald Trump in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents probe, which could come any day now, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has reportedly expanded her election interference probe to look at suspect activities outside of her state as well. That could paint a broader picture of Trump-backed 2020 election interference at any trial that comes in Georgia.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Willis’ probe “has broadened to include activities in Washington, D.C., and several other states, according to two people with knowledge of the probe — a fresh sign that prosecutors may be building a sprawling case under Georgia’s racketeering laws.”

The report, which has yet to be independently verified by NBC News, added:

In recent days, Willis has sought information related to the Trump campaign hiring two firms to find voter fraud across the United States and then burying their findings when they did not find it, allegations that reach beyond Georgia’s borders, said the two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the investigation. At least one of the firms has been subpoenaed by Fulton County investigators.

So why would Willis — as a Georgia prosecutor — want to gather evidence of shady election activities outside of her state? The reason is as simple as it is powerful: A pattern of allegedly wrongful behavior is potent proof for a jury. It’s harder to dismiss alleged criminal activity as a one-off. It gives context. It tells the story.

And that pattern of behavior could, as The Washington Post reported, lead to a sprawling racketeering indictment that helps Willis paint that broader picture to a jury. The evidence that judges allow juries to hear depends on their relevance to the alleged crimes. Broader charges can therefore lead to broader evidence. (Trump has denied any wrongdoing.)

Even if Willis decides to bring a more narrow case related to election interference, she’d still want to present as much supporting evidence as she can. So, racketeering indictment or not, acquiring evidence of a broader pattern can be significant.

As for when such charges might come, recall that a letter from Willis to local law enforcement suggested a summer timeline — specifically, July 11 to Sept. 1. There’s reason to believe that her charging announcement could land right in the middle, in August.

Meanwhile, Trump, who’s already under indictment in New York state court in his hush money case, could face charges next in his classified documents case, one of two Justice Department probes overseen by special counsel Jack Smith. The other federal probe relates to Jan. 6 and Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, overlapping somewhat with Willis’ investigation.  

So the reportedly expanded Georgia probe isn’t what the former president and current presidential candidate wants to hear right now, but it’s only part of his busy legal docket.

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