A judge ruled that Trump’s trial in the Georgia election case will not take place in October
Former US President Donald Trump, who has been arraigned on federal charges related to attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, faces reporters as he departs Washington at Reagan Washington National Airport in nearby Arlington, Virginia, US, August 3, 2023.
pool | Via Reuters
Former President Donald Trump will not go to trial next month along with two of his co-defendants whose cases in the sweeping Georgia election interference case were dismissed by a judge on Thursday.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee granted motions from Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell to separate their criminal cases from those of the 17 other defendants charged in the investigation by Atlanta District Attorney Fannie Willis.
But McAfee rejected Chesebrough and Powell’s attempt to have their cases separated, meaning they are scheduled to head to the same trial on October 23.
The ruling represents a blow to Georgia prosecutors who wanted to keep all 19 defendants together in the case.
McAfee wrote in his order that cutting Chesebro and Powell was “merely a procedural and logistical imperative.”
“The Fulton County Courthouse simply does not have a courtroom large enough to accommodate all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys, support staff, sheriff’s deputies, court staff, and the state’s prosecution team,” McAfee wrote.
Willis’s 41-count indictment charges all 19 defendants with violating Georgia’s racketeering law and other crimes as part of an illegal conspiracy to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Georgia election.
Chesebro, an attorney who allegedly assisted in efforts to convince voters of fraudulent ballots to cast ballots for Trump, is charged with seven counts. Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer, also faces seven charges, including two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud.
Trump faces 13 charges in Georgia, one of four active criminal cases pending against him as he runs for president again in 2024. All of the defendants in Georgia have pleaded not guilty.
Chesebro and Powell are the only defendants to request a speedy trial in Georgia. McAfee noted in his order issued Thursday that if any other defendants demand a speedy trial before Oct. 23, they will immediately join Chesebro and Powell in the courtroom.
For Trump and the 16 other defendants, McAfee has set a timeline that requires all requests to be filed by December 1.
The judge has not yet set a trial date for them — although he noted that his court “has received assurances that the other members of the Fulton County bench are prepared to begin a second trial during the November/December term.”
This article originally appeared on www.cnbc.com