Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Judge dismisses counts against Trump in Georgia election interference case



(The Center Square) – A state judge on Wednesday dismissed some of the charges against former President Donald Trump in the Georgia case that accuses the former president of trying to interfere with the 2020 election.

Judge Scott McAfee dismissed six charges in the indictment, including three against Trump due to a lack of detail that he said was “fatal.” But the ruling doesn’t end the case against Trump. Trump still faces criminal charges, including Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges that underpin the prosecution’s case.

“The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance,” McAfee wrote. “However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal.”

However, the judge wrote that the case was far from over.

“This does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed,” he wrote in a footnote. “The State may also seek a re-indictment supplementing these six counts. Even if the statute of limitations has expired, the State receives a six-month extension from the date of this Order to resubmit the case to a grand jury.”

McAfee’s latest ruling did not address the potential disqualification brought against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade by the defendants. The judge said he would rule on that issue by the end of the week.

Defense attorneys have argued that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had an improper relationship with an attorney she hired to prosecute the state’s election interference case against Trump and should be disqualified. Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade said they had a personal relationship that started after Willis hired Wade to prosecute the case.

However, the judge wrote that the case was far from over.

“This does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed,” he wrote in a footnote. “The State may also seek a re-indictment supplementing these six counts. Even if the statute of limitations has expired, the State receives a six-month extension from the date of this Order to resubmit the case to a grand jury.”

McAfee’s latest ruling did not address the potential disqualification brought against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade by the defendants. The judge said he would rule on that issue by the end of the week.

Defense attorneys have argued that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had an improper relationship with an attorney she hired to prosecute the state’s election interference case against Trump and should be disqualified. Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade said they had a personal relationship that started after Willis hired Wade to prosecute the case.

One witness told the judge the relationship began in 2019 after the pair met at a judicial conference and long before Willis hired Wade in 2021.

The allegations about the prosecutors have at times eclipsed the matter that preceded it: The allegations that Trump tried to steal the 2020 election.

In August 2023, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former state Republican Party Chair David Shafer, on charges they tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Trump has pleaded not guilty.