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Judge delays trial of Trump and others in Georgia 2020 election lawsuits


Prosecutors had said they were prepared to try all 19 defendants together on Oct. 23, but McAfee scoffed at the possibility.

“The Fulton County Courthouse simply does not contain a courtroom large enough to accommodate the 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, sheriff’s deputies, court staff and prosecutorial team of State. Moving to another, larger location raises security concerns that cannot be resolved quickly,” the judge wrote.

McAfee’s command highlighted the significant uncertainties surrounding the case, which accuses Trump and 18 co-defendants of conspiring to overturn the Georgia election. The judge noted that five of the co-defendants were seeking to move their charges to Federal Court, a challenge that could take months to resolve and result in extraordinary complications if any of their motions are granted.

“The impact of granting a mid-trial dismissal on this case, particularly on the issue of double criminality…and overlooking or misassessing these legal uncertainties risks resulting in an automatic acquittal,” a writes McAfee.

Although McAfee has not yet set a trial date for Trump, it appears likely that it will continue until 2024 or later. The judge set a Dec. 1 deadline for the defendants — other than Chesebro and Powell, who are granted an expedited deadline — to file any pretrial motions. The judge must also take into account that Trump has scheduled two federal criminal trials next year, one beginning March 4 in Washington, D.C. and the other on May 20 in Fort Pierce, Florida.

McAfee said it was possible more than two trials would be needed to process all the defendants and he raised the specter of enlisting another state judge, should the necessary timelines intersect. If any defendants opt for a speedy trial this month, McAfee ruled, they will be joined by Chesebro and Powell. However, if anyone opts for an expedited timeline next month or later, he said he has “received assurance that the other members of the Fulton County bench are ready.”



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