WASHINGTON, D.C. - Late Monday night, a Georgia grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies. They’re accused of trying to change the state’s 2020 election results to favor Trump. This is Trump’s fourth indictment. A political scientist believes these latest charges could have the biggest impact on an influential group of voters.  

The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia's legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia's presidential election result,” said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.  

Former President Donald Trump, who is also running for the republican presidential nomination, is facing 13 charges in Georgia, including violating the state’s racketeering law, soliciting a public official to violate an oath and filing false documents. It’s the fourth time within the past couple of months Trump has been charged with serious crimes. Something that was once unprecedented has now become almost frequent.  

“This is a really serious one and one of the things we didn’t know was how involved Trump and his associates were in trying to get information and trying to really strong arm the elections people in Georgia,” said Todd Belt, Professor and Director of Political Management at George Washington University. “This is something I think is going to really stick to him.” 

Trump describes these latest charges and the other previous indictments as part of a political witch hunt and accusing the Biden administration of weaponizing the DOJ. Belt said there’s been a decline in trust in institutions across the board in the past couple of years.  

“Trust in the institutions of elections is absolutely crucial because that is how we govern ourselves, that is how we the people speak our voice,” said Belt.  

Despite these charges, Belt said Trump’s base remains loyal to him.  

“For the base I don’t think this is gonna make too much of a difference and the reason for that is they believe the lies about the election,” said Belt.  

With the 2024 election right around the corner, these charges could have an impact with another influential group: independent voters.  

“For the independents and the people who will determine a general election I think this is more problematic,” said Belt. “For the American people when you’re messing with our electoral system this is really serious.”