Philly Natives Charged for Trying to Overturn 2020 Election in Georgia

The indictment in Georgia against former President Donald Trump is photographed Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. Trump and several allies have been indicted in Georgia over efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state. The criminal case announced Monday is the fourth brought against the ex-president in a matter of months. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

By Sean Kitchen

August 15, 2023

Two Philadelphia natives were charged with violating Georgia’s RICO Act alongside former president Donald Trump for trying to overturn Georgia’s 2020 elections. Violating the state’s RICO Act brings a five year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted. 

Jeffrey Clark and Mike Roman, both Philadelphia natives and alumni of Father Judge High School in Northeast Philadelphia, were indicted along with former president Donald Trump and 16 others Monday night for their efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. 

Clark and Roman were both charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison if convicted.

Clark was the acting head of theDepartment of Justice’s Civil division in late 2020, but played a key role in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6th. For his role in the scheme, he was also charged with criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings. 

Roman, on the other hand, was charged with six additional crimes, including: 

  • Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer
  • Two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
  • Two counts of conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
  • Conspiracy to commit filing false documents

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Roman served as the director of Trump’s Election Day operations for the 2020 election and was one of the main operatives who played a role in organizing Trump’s slates of fake electors in battleground states including Georgia and Pennsylvania following the 2020 election.  

The Inqiurer went on to report that Roman organized a Dec. 10, 2020 hearing before a Georgia House committee to spread false information about election fraud throughout the state of Georgia. 

Roman, who was a Philadelphia GOP ward leader throughout the 1990’s, played an important role in overturning a 1993 Pennsylvania State Senate race after Republican candidate Bruce Marks was able to persuade a federal judge to discard dozens of ballots from a Latino part of Kensington after claiming the ballots contained forgeries and other irregularities. The judge’s decision handed Marks the victory, effectively flipping the outcome of the race.

Marks later went on to work for the Koch Brothers-funded organization, Freedom Partners, and then worked for the George W. Bush and John McCain presidential campaigns.  

Other connections to Pennsylvania stemming from Monday’s indictments include Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis. Ellis was charged with violating Georgia’s RICO Act and the solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. 

Ellis served as State Sen. Doug Mastriano’s senior legal advisor for Mastriano’s failed gubernatorial campaign against Josh Shapiro in 2022.   

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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