Why are conservatives comparing Trump’s indictment to Stacey Abrams?

Defenders of Donald Trump argue that the case brought by Fulton County DA Fani Willis is unfair and partisan because Abrams, a Democrat, essentially did the same: Challenge an election.

Now that former President Donald Trump has been indicted for racketeering and other alleged crimes related to attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, conservative voices are arguing the criminal case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is unfair and partisan because Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, essentially did the same thing with no consequence. 

“This indictment isn’t about Pres. Trump claiming the election was stolen. If it was, Stacey Abrams and Hillary Clinton would be in jail,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) after Trump’s fourth criminal indictment was handed down Monday night.

Former President Donald Trump (left) and former Georgia candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams (right). (Photos: Getty Images)

Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz made a similar argument about the former Georgia Democratic candidate for governor on the right-wing news channel. 

“Why are they not pursuing any of the Democrats that … challenged an election? Stacey Abrams … went after the whole system and said it was rigged,” said Chaffetz. “I didn’t hear anybody barking at Stacey Abrams. She’s still never admitted that she didn’t win the election.”

Although Abrams did dispute the loss in 2018 to her Republican opponent, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, her election challenge in Georgia is markedly different from Trump’s attempts to thwart the 2020 election certification of the contest’s winner, Joe Biden.

After Abrams lost her bid for governor, the former Georgia lawmaker contested the results and accused Kemp, who governed over the state’s voting system, of purging voters from registration rolls and under-resourcing polling stations. Those actions “altered the outcome” of the gubernatorial race, she claimed. 

Abrams eventually ended her challenge to the results and acknowledged Kemp’s certification as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election. When she ran for governor again in 2022, Abrams clarified, “I did not win,” after she was repeatedly asked about challenging the results.

Kendra Cotton, CEO of the New Georgia Project Action Fund, told theGrio that the difference between Abrams and the former president is that Trump committed “treason.”

“What she didn’t do [and] what they ain’t got her on tape doing is … imploring the secretary of state to essentially find enough votes that would overturn a legitimate free and fair election,” said Cotton, referring to the infamous 2021 tape recording of Trump pressing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes in order for him to win the state’s electoral votes after an upset win by Biden. 

Then-President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in 2017. He was among 19 indicted this week on charges related to alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump is now a defendant in a RICO case in the Peach State, where Willis brought several counts of indictment against him for that very call and more, including several alleged acts of conspiracy and making false statements and writings.

Svante Myrick, president and CEO of the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way, also slammed comparisons between Trump and Abrams, as well as mentions of former Democratic presidential nominee Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton conceded the next day. Trump didn’t,” Myrick said during a Tuesday press call reacting to Trump’s indictment. 

He continued: “Hillary Clinton never called a secretary of state … She didn’t text them. She didn’t convene dozens of hundreds of meetings and phone calls with co-conspirators in an attempt to pressure election officials.” 

“She did not do a single thing that is listed in this indictment,” Myrick added, “and neither did Stacey Abrams. And neither did anybody else in power in the Democratic Party.”  

Cotton said that unlike Abrams, who ultimately accepted her defeat, Trump “committed a crime.” 

“I am encouraged by the fact that it doesn’t matter that this person was a former president or is a current candidate for president,” she told theGrio. “No one in America is above the law … and finally, finally, in 2023, we are actually seeing that because that hasn’t always been the case.”

Gerren Keith Gaynor

Gerren Keith Gaynor is a White House Correspondent and the Managing Editor of Politics at theGrio. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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