Former President Donald Trump will not face trial in Georgia in October, according to a ruling issued by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on Thursday.
This ruling relates to the criminal case brought against Trump and 18 other individuals by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who claims that they committed various crimes when attempting to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
President Trump has pleaded not guilty, as have all of the other defendants. Mr. Trump maintains that his efforts to challenge the election results were constitutionally protected and had been common practices for some time.
Furthermore, he contends that Ms. Willis is politically motivated in her prosecution of him, with the intent to derail his 2024 campaign bid.
Willis has sought a speedy trial and the ability to try all 19 defendants together, yet legal experts have deemed this an unreasonable request due to the magnitude of defendants and evidence involved.
It is not feasible for both a speedy trial and a fair trial to be conducted in this case without compromising constitutional standards.
Attempting to try 19 individuals simultaneously in a court of law is an exceedingly complicated endeavor. As evidence of this, two co-defendants, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, have requested a speedy trial, whereas the other 17 have not.
This discrepancy alone demonstrates the complexity of the situation; as different defendants have varying desires, it will likely slow down proceedings.
On Thursday, Judge McAfee determined that Powell and Chesebro should be tried separately from the other seventeen co-defendants, including President Trump. McAfee stated that such a division was an “absolute necessity” given the complexity of the case.
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
McAfee suggested that more than two trials may be required, and set the deadline for filing pretrial motions for defendants other than Chesebro and Powell as December 1, 2023.
This means that Trump’s trial will not take place until at least this date, which is contrary to Willis’ wishes of trying all defendants in October. However, the judge did not indicate when exactly the trial will take place.