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Georgia Judge Rejects October Trump Trial, Splits Up Election Cases

Donald Trump’s chance for a lengthy trial in the Georgia 2020 election interference investigation increased when a judge refused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ request to have all 19 defendants put on trial by October 23.

Citing procedural concerns and protecting the due process rights of all involved, the judge noted this was a procedural inevitability. As The Daily Caller pointed out, two defendants, Ken Chesebro and Sidney Powell, want a speedy trial. Their cases will likely be severed, leaving Trump to have his day in court later:

A Georgia judge shot down Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ hope to try former President Donald Trump and all the co-defendants in her racketeering case on Oct. 23, calling it an “absolute necessity” to sever the case.

Judge Scott McAfee ruled Thursday that separating the 17 defendants who did not demand speedy trials from the two who did, Ken Chesebro and Sidney Powell, is a “procedural and logistical inevitability.” McAfee further stated that “additional divisions” may be required, a decision that would be made “once the many pretrial motions have been resolved.”

“The precarious ability of the Court to safeguard each defendant’s due process rights and ensure adequate pretrial preparation on the current accelerated track weighs heavily, if not decisively, in favor of severance,” he wrote.

This case would always be the longest, though not the most severe, facing Trump regarding the charges. It’s a RICO case, which is stunning. Then again, as soon as we learned it had become a racketeering investigation in May, we should’ve expected an indictment. RICO always leads to something for those entangled in one of these probes.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more on the ruling, with Judge Scott McAfee elaborating on the pressing logistical challenges that are ahead:

The Fulton County judge overseeing the sprawling election interference probe on Thursday split the case’s 19 defendants into two groups, saving former President Donald Trump from going to trial in Georgia in October.

Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled that 17 of the defendants would be split off — or severed, in legal parlance — from Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, who have demanded speedy trials and are set to be tried on Oct. 23.

[…]

The ruling is a blow to the Fulton District Attorney’s office, which argued in favor of keeping all 19 defendants together. In a court filing earlier this week, DA Fani Willis said trying defendants in multiple groups would create a “logistical quagmire” for courthouse staff, witnesses and jurors and that judicial efficiency merited trying the group together.

[…]

McAfee, meanwhile, voiced concerns about the logistics of holding a “mega-trial.”

“The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff’s deputies, court personnel, and the State’s prosecutorial team. Relocating to another larger venue raises security concerns that cannot be rapidly addressed,” he said.

[…]

“Each additional defendant increases the length of opening and closing arguments, cross- examination, and the number of evidentiary objections,” he wrote. “Each additional defendant increases the risk that the trial must be paused due to the unexpected absence of a party or attorney.”

A month ago, a Fulton grand jury handed up the 41-count racketeering indictment, tied to Trump’s attempt to hold onto power in Georgia and other swing states following the 2020 election.

The judge wrote that the “ripple effects” of a months-long, multi-defendant trial on the local criminal justice system must be considered, and added that “additional divisions of these 17 defendants may well be required” in the future. Roughly a dozen parties have filed motions to sever themselves from some or all of their other co-defendants, though McAfee did not rule on those requests.

Over a dozen defendants with legal teams asking for continuances, and the inevitable preparation to draft a defense that isn’t constitutionally deficient paves the way for a long trial. Trump wants lengthy trials for all his indictments, though there is an enormous risk even if the charges are politically motivated. I doubt Trump will escape conviction, facing nearly 100 felonies. Trump is also facing state charges in the Peach State, meaning should he win in 2024, he can’t pardon himself. But law professor Jonathan Turley has also been warning Democrats, despite the legal gauntlet the former president must endure, he also won’t be serving jail time now or anytime in the near future.

READ 43 COMMENTS
  • ThePeopleArePissed says:

    And Rino Brian Kemp allows this circus to continue, wasting an exorbitant amount of OUR money while he puts a temporary bandaid over gas tax hoping to make us forget what a worthless governor he is. We do not forget nor will we be distracted. If not for him, there would be no Dominion and no Fani Willis sideshow.
    Globalist Rino corrupt Kemp got to go!

  • Jack in the Box says:

    Guess who will end up in prison after the election? It’s not going to be Trump, but a lot of hypocrites in the demo(ni)cratic cell! This will hit them so hard they will never recover from it!

  • george fate eady says:

    the first step in this crap coming apart. and the last step is her loosing her job at least

  • Nate says:

    Willis needs to be barred from practicing law in this country, start working for Animal Control, too many rapid Democrats!

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