By Katabella Roberts and Joshua Philipp
The United States will “no longer be a constitutional republic” and will become politically unstable if former President Donald Trump is imprisoned over the latest charges announced against him in the Georgia election indictment, the president’s spokeswoman, Liz Harrington, has warned.
Ms. Harrington made the comments in an interview with EpochTV’s “Crossroads” on Aug. 15, where she cautioned the American public to understand “what’s really at stake here.”
President Trump was charged with 13 counts in Monday’s indictment alleging he and 18 co-defendants—including several of his former attorneys—attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.
The indictment was announced by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, an outspoken critic of President Trump.
Ms. Willis told reporters on Monday that all the defendants listed in the indictment must voluntarily surrender in Georgia by Aug. 25 at noon. It is unclear yet if they will.
Ms. Harrington called the latest charges against President Trump—the fourth time this year charges have been levied against him—a “travesty” and an “insult to the rule of law,” citing the way in which the indictment was first reported.
The clerk of the Fulton County, Georgia, court system has acknowledged accidentally posting online—and then subsequently removing—what appeared to be a two-page list of charges against President Trump on Aug. 14 before he was actually indicted and while a grand jury was still hearing testimony from witnesses regarding the case.
Multiple experts have noted the accidental release of the charges may violate democratic norms.
Case Raises Concerns for Ordinary Americans
“You had here a corrupt district attorney and an office that filed an indictment before the grand jury had even met before they had heard witnesses before they voted,” Ms. Harrington said. “I mean, if that doesn’t say it all, it says that this was another ‘show me the man, I’ll show you the fake crimes.'”
“And we’ll try to pin anything on President Trump and reading through these charges, it honestly is the biggest joke and affront to the rule of law that I’ve ever seen. And the big takeaway, I think, is if they can do this to President Trump—he says it all the time, ‘They’re not after me, they’re after you, I’m just standing in the way’—they can try to make it a criminal act, to send tweets to encourage people to watch public hearings, to write speeches and deliver them as a president of the United States, to be in the public square and bringing your grievances to the government… They can do this to anyone and they will do this to anyone. And that’s what’s really at stake here,” Ms. Harrington said.
“Our country will no longer be a constitutional republic. There’ll be just another run-of-the-mill banana republic that imprisons anyone who disagrees with the government,” she warned.
Ms. Harrington further noted that “countless” individuals have challenged election results using the First Amendment, something she said President Trump had also done in the 2020 election as part of his “duty” to the American people.
“The American people saw what was happening in that election. They were very concerned, they were very upset, they wanted answers, they wanted transparency, and President Trump was speaking on behalf of them,” she said.
“But he also petitioned the government for his grievances. And that is the bedrock of this nation. That is how this nation was formed. It is just a number one founding principle. And if you’re not allowed to do that, if that’s not just a crime but a conspiracy of racketeering, we’ve gone down a very different path,” she said, referencing the indictment charging President Trump with a violation of Georgia’s RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations).
“And it proves that these corrupt district attorneys, these corrupt prosecutors, and the federal government have nothing but disdain for our Constitution and the way our system is supposed to work,” Ms. Harrington said.
‘This Is About Our Country’
“This is not about President Trump. This is about our country. This is about really a corrupt system that is running this great nation into the ground and they’re going to continue to harass anybody who is a political dissident, anyone who disagrees with the ruling class, they’re not going to stop at President Trump,” she concluded.
Elsewhere, Kash Patel, the former chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and former terrorism prosecutor at the Department of Justice, told “Crossroads” that he had never before seen an indictment as lengthy as the one unveiled against President Trump—98 pages—brought against drug cartels and terrorists.
Mr. Patel, who also served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and is now a contributor to EpochTV, also noted the release of the charges against President Trump before he was officially indicted, calling it “unlawful behavior.”
“The thing that stuck out to me the most was the unlawful behavior of the district attorney in releasing the indictment before a judge had ever signed off on it,” he said. “I can tell you as an officer of the court, the one rule of law in every state, all 50, and all federal jurisdictions is anything that happens in a grand jury is prohibited from release. Grand jury testimony, collection of documents, sorting of evidence, and an indictment.”
“An indictment is sealed under the law until a judge unseals it, that’s the law. So when this district attorney stepped to the podium last night and claimed, ‘Oh, I don’t know how that paperwork got filed, that was a clerk of the court thing,’ that is a bogus, flat-out lie, her name is on the indictment,” Mr. Patel said. “She must walk it to the chief judge and as we saw they had it ordained for Hollywood cameras to be there at 11:30 p.m. eastern in the evening. So it’s not like they didn’t think this one through.”
Mr. Patel said the leaking of the charges against President Trump prior to the official announcement of the indictment “is an offense in court” and that Ms. Willis should be held in contempt of court.
Congress, too, should bring Ms. Willis in for questioning over the leaked charges, he said.
“I think that’s the first motion to dismiss, based on the unlawful presentation of grand jury information,” Mr. Patel said.
Elsewhere, Mr. Patel noted the charges made against President Trump and his co-defendants in the indictment.
Indictment ‘Has Evidence of Nothing’
President Trump was charged with 13 counts, including a violation of Georgia’s RICO Act, solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit filing of false documents.
His co-defendants were charged with making and filing false statements, impersonating a public officer, the solicitation of high-ranking DOJ officials and state legislatures, computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the state, perjury, and harassment of election workers, among others.
All of the co-defendants were also charged with at least one count of violating the Georgia RICO Act.
However, Mr. Patel said the indictment “has evidence of nothing.”
“If we look at some of the counts, and some of the corruption evidence, that Donald Trump tweeted to people to watch television, that someone asked for a phone number. This is not RICO cases. This is not mob-style hits, and murderers and drug running and running of numbers. This is a prosecutor who thinks what Donald Trump did is corrupt,” he said, referring to Ms. Willis.
“Now she personally is entitled to that. Legally, that is not how corruption and RICO cases work. You have to show an abject violation of the law and afford what we call furtherance of the conspiracy and overt act in furtherance of that violation,” he added.
Mr. Patel concluded that ultimately, the case against President Trump would prove difficult because “no one in the world is going to prove” that he did not believe he won the 2020 election.
“He has been adamant about that for years. Now, if you disagree with him, that’s a political decision that’s to be adjudicated at the polls. But that’s not the time to make it illegal because you disagree with it, and you think his actions are corrupted to contextualize it,” Mr. Patel said.
President Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the Georgia election case and has vowed to release a “complex” report on the alleged presidential election fraud that he says took place in Georgia.
“Based on the results of this conclusive report, all charges should be dropped against me and others,” President Trump wrote on Truth Social on Tuesday.