Top Georgia election official echos concern that Trump could cause violence: ‘He’s making himself a martyr’

  • Former President Donald Trump could face a fourth indictment over his alleged efforts to overturn his loss in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
  • Top Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said Sunday that the criminal cases have been “giving oxygen” to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.
  • Sterling warned about the potential for violence back in December 2020, and said Sunday that election-related violence remains his “biggest concern.”

Top Georgia election official echos concern that Trump could cause violence: ‘He’s making himself a martyr’

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on the stage during a campaign rally in Windham, New Hampshire, August 8, 2023.© Provided by CNBC

Former President Donald Trump could face an unprecedented fourth indictment over his alleged efforts to overturn his loss in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, and top Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said Sunday that the criminal cases have been “giving oxygen” to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Sterling, a Republican, said Trump lost the state in 2020 and that his repeated claims of election fraud have been unsubstantiated. But because of the “tribal” nature of political parties in the U.S., Trump’s supporters are inclined to believe him.

Top Georgia election official echos concern that Trump could cause violence: ‘He’s making himself a martyr’

“He’s making himself a victim, he’s making himself a martyr, and a lot of the American people are coming behind him because they do feel like some of these things are a little bit of a stretch,” Sterling told ABC’s “This Week.”

Sterling warned about the potential for violence back in December 2020, before an angry mob of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He said Sunday that election-related violence remains his “biggest concern,” as individuals could be radicalized to do something “stupid.”

The Atlanta prosecutor overseeing the investigation in Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willisis expected to present her case to a grand jury in the week ahead, NBC News reported. That presentation could lead to an indictment of the former president in the case on state charges.

If that happens, it would be the fourth time Trump has been charged in a criminal case since March, and the second time he has been indicted in connection with his efforts to prevent President Joe Biden from taking office.

Sterling said he testified before the special grand jury, the panel that initially investigated the case, and participated in two interviews with the DA’s officers. He said if or when he is called to testify going forward, he will “tell the truth and answer honestly.”

Prosecutors in Atlanta reportedly possess text messages and emails that directly link a January 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County to members of Trump’s legal team, according to CNN Sunday. Allies of the former president attempted to access voting systems to find evidence of election fraud, according to the report, in what was part of a “top-down push by Trump’s team.”

Trump in a speech Tuesday in New Hampshire said he expects to be indicted in Georgia soon.

“I should have four by sometime next week,” Trump said.

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