Friday March 1st, 2024 6:40AM

Owner of Gainesville's Midland Social among Trump allies indicted in election case

By AccessWDUN Staff / The Associated Press

Robert "Bob" Cheeley, the owner of Gainesville's Midland Social and an Alpharetta lawyer, was among former President Donald Trump and 18 allies indicted this week by a Fulton County grand jury in connection with an investigation into election meddling following Trump's loss in Georgia in the 2020 election.

The indictments relate to the group's alleged effort to overturn Trump's loss in the state. 

The nearly 100-page indictment said Cheeley was charged with the following:

  • Violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act
  • Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer
  • Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
  • Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
  • Conspiracy to commit filing false documents
  • Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
  • Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
  • Solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer
  • False statements and writings
  • Perjury

The indictment references multiple alleged efforts by Trump allies to contact former Georgia Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Cheeley allegedly emailed an unindicted co-conspirator on Dec. 6, 2020, stating "I am working on setting up a call for you with the Speaker and the President Pro Tempore tomorrow. I am also making the leadership aware of the importance for Trump electors to meet on December 14. Please provide the citation to the requirements of the duties which they must comply with."

The indictment describes the email as an act of furtherance in the conspiracy. 

In a second email from Cheeley on Dec. 6, Cheeley claimed he was working to encourage Miller and the late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston to call a special session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Later that month, on Dec. 30, the indictment alleges Cheeley made false statements to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee meeting when he claimed Fulton County election workers at State Farm Arena "voted" the same ballots "over and over again" on Nov. 3, 2020.

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani also attempted to contact Miller in Dec. 2020, according to the indictment, which said Giuliani tried to call Miller "for the purpose of making false statements concerning fraud in the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia."

Other defendants include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and a Trump administration Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who allegedly aided the then-president's efforts to undo his election loss in Georgia. Other lawyers who allegedly advanced ideas to overturn the results, including John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, were also charged.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis gave the defendants until noon on Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender. Additionally, she plans to seek a trial date within six months and intends to try the defendants collectively.

The indictment follows a Jan. 2, 2021, call in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to overturn his election loss. That call, prosecutors said, violated a Georgia law against soliciting a public official to violate their oath.

In a statement after the indictment was issued, Trump's legal team said: “the events that have unfolded today have been shocking and absurd, starting with the leak of a presumed and premature indictment before the witnesses had testified or the grand jurors had deliberated and ending with the District Attorney being unable to offer any explanation.”

The lawyers said prosecutors presenting their case “relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests — some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused.”

Trump responded to the indictment Tuesday by announcing a news conference for next week to present yet another “almost complete” report on the alleged fraud in the 2020 election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Politics
  • Associated Tags: Election, indictment, Donald Trump, The Chair Factory, Fani Willis
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