The Georgia 2020 Election subversion case (a RICO of the Georgia State variety) is quite complex in that there are 19 defendants who are charged with one or more counts from the list of 41 distinct counts (see page 1 of the Indictment document). For example, all co-defendants were charged with Count 1 (RICO) but Mark Meadows was charged with only one additional count, Count #28: solicitation of violation of oath by public officer in connection with the famous Jan 2 phone call with Raffensperger. Only Donald Trump was charged with Count #28 as well.

My question: using Count #28 as an example (page 87 of the document, arising from Act #112, page 50) which of the following elements can be shared among the co-defendants facing the same count?

  1. In the defense for the co-defendants regarding Count #28 arising from Act #112: if a lawyer for Donald Trump shows how Count #28 cannot be substantiated against him, can the lawyer for Mark Meadows argues that Mr. Meadows should then be automatically acquitted for Count #28 since it's about the same phone call committed in Act #112? Does this being a RICO case, where the prosecutor takes advantage of potential shared guilt among co-defendants (and how one can turn against the other), give a similar advantage for the lawyers for the co-defendants to potentially coordinate a shared defense?

  2. Can the jury deliver a 'guilty' verdict on Count #28 for Donald Trump but 'not guilty' for Mark Meadows?

  3. Let's say the jury delivers a 'guilty' verdict on Count #28 for both Donald Trump and Mark Meadows. Can the sentencing vary between them; for example Mark Meadows got 3 months but Donald Trump got 1 year, due to the relative difference in culpability for Count #28 if it can be shown that Mark Meadows acted under instruction from his boss?

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    I don't know enough about the intricacies of RICO to answer, but by reading down the left hand side of the indictment's first page you will see that it's the State of Georgia -v- a list of names; each with their own counts according to the right hand side. This means that each defendant, although grouped together in one trial, is being prosecuted individually. RICO may say something different, but that's how it works in regular criminal trials - if anyone with more knowledge confirms this is the case with RICO, I'll post this as an answer.
    – user35069
    Aug 25, 2023 at 16:37
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    ^above comment made in response to the question's initial version, prior to editing - "on a particular count, can a jury deliver a guilty verdict for one co-defendant but not for another?" I've decided to leave it as is for posterity.
    – user35069
    Aug 25, 2023 at 20:53
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    Note that this is Georgia-RICO not federal RICO - they are different
    – Trish
    Aug 26, 2023 at 10:11
  • @Trish Thanks. Edited in the distinction in the OP. Aug 26, 2023 at 12:39

1 Answer 1

  1. No, or at least, not necessarily. It will depend on what the successful defence for Donald was and whether it can also be demonstrated for Mark. To take an extreme example, if Donald can prove that the person in the phone call was a voice impersonator, then that doesn’t get Mark off the hook.
  2. Yes.
  3. Almost certainly. The factors the judge considers in sentencing will almost surely be different between the two if convicted. Again, at the extreme, one might take a plea deal on #28 in return for testimony and the dropping of #1: no prizes for guessing which one such a deal might appeal to.

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