Most of the case is intact despite the judge dismissing some charges

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CNN —The presiding judge in the Georgia criminal case against Donald Trump and his allies has thrown out some of the charges against the former president and several of his co-defendants.
The partial dismissal by Georgia Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee leaves most of the sprawling racketeering indictment intact.
McAfee ruled that six charges in the 41-count indictment related to Trump and some co-defendants allegedly soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer lacked the required detail about what underlying crime the defendants were soliciting.
Trump was named in three of the counts specifically, meaning the former president is now facing 88 charges over the four criminal indictments in Georgia, New York, Washington, DC, and Florida.
Prosecutors alleged that Trump and some of his co-defendants violated the law by pressuring members of the Georgia legislature to unlawfully appoint presidential electors.
They also brought the charge against Trump and his ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for the January 2021 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” the votes that would win him the state.
“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.
However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal,” McAfee wrote in Wednesday’s order.
“As written, these six counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited,” McAfee added.
“They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently, as the Defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.”Though he threw out the solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer charge, McAfee said that the alleged conduct that was the foundation of that charge could still be relied upon by prosecutors as part of the larger racketeering charge that is the heart of the Georgia case.
“This does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed,” he wrote.
‘Unforced error by prosecutors’CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig said the ruling “is an unforced error by prosecutors and an undeniable setback.”“While most of the charges remain intact, the judge has thrown out six charges for being legally defective,” Honig said.
“Essentially, prosecutors charged Trump and others with asking Georgia officials to violate the Constitution, but prosecutors failed to specify any underlying constitutional provision.”Michael Moore, a CNN Legal Analyst and former US attorney, said McAfee’s action may mean the judge doesn’t think the case will go to trial this year.
“This is a standard motion from the defense, but it puts another “cut” on the case …and cases like this one often can suffer death by a thousand cuts,” Moore said.
“It was interesting that the judge made room for the possibility of an appeal by the state.
I don’t think he is expecting this case to be tried this year.”Steve Sadow, the lead defense lawyer for Trump in the Georgia election subversion case, said McAfee made “the correct legal decision.”“The counts dismissed against President Trump are 5, 28 and 38, which falsely claimed that he solicited GA public officials to violate their oath of office,” Sadow said in a statement.
“The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts.
The entire prosecution of President Trump is political, constitutes election interference, and should be dismissed.”Jeff DeSantis, a spokesman for the Fulton County district attorney’s office said, said the ruling is being reviewed.
Ruling on Fani Willis coming soonThe new ruling did not address the ethics allegations brought against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis by the defendants.
McAfee has pledged to issue a ruling on that issue by the end of the week.
“I plan to stick to my timeline,” McAfee told CNN on Wednesday morning.
He did not elaborate.
This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN –.

Some of the charges against the former president and several of his co-defendants have been dismissed by the presiding judge in the Georgia criminal case brought against him and his allies.

The vast racketeering indictment is mostly still pending despite Judge Scott McAfee of Georgia Superior Court’s partial dismissal of it.

According to McAfee, six counts in the 41-count indictment against Trump and a few other defendants for allegedly encouraging a public official to violate their oath of office lacked the necessary specifics regarding the underlying crime that the defendants were allegedly encouraging.

Trump is currently facing 88 charges across the four criminal indictments in Georgia, New York, Washington, DC, and Florida because he was specifically named in three of the counts.

The prosecution claimed that by coercing Georgia legislators into appointing presidential electors in violation of the law, Trump and a few of his co-defendants broke the law. Additionally, they filed a complaint against Trump and his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, for their phone conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021, during which Trump requested that Raffensperger “find” the votes necessary to win the state.

“The State has alleged an abundance of conduct by the Defendants, so the Court is less concerned that it has not allege sufficient conduct. Still, McAfee stated in the order on Wednesday, “The undersigned believes that the lack of information regarding a crucial legal element is fatal.”.

As written, these six counts include every necessary component of the offenses, but they don’t go into enough detail about how they were committed, i.e. E. , the fundamental crime that was encouraged,” McAfee continued. The Defendants may have broken the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of different ways, and they do not provide the Defendants with enough information to make an informed defense. “.

Even though he dropped the charge of solicitation of breach of oath by a public official, McAfee stated that prosecutors could still use the alleged behavior as support for the more serious racketeering charge that forms the basis of the Georgia case.

He wrote, “This does not imply that the entire indictment is dropped.”.

“Prosecutors’ inadvertent error”.

According to CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig, the decision “is an undeniable setback and an unforced error by prosecutors.”. “.

“The judge has thrown out six charges because they are legally defective, but the majority of the charges are still pending,” Honig stated. In essence, the prosecution accused Trump and associates of requesting that Georgia officials violate the Constitution; however, the prosecution did not identify the specific constitutional provision that was violated. “.

Former US attorney and CNN Legal Analyst Michael Moore speculated that McAfee’s move might indicate the judge believes the case won’t go to trial this year.

“This is a typical defense move, but it adds one more “cut” to the case, and cases like this one frequently end up dying by a thousand cuts,” Moore remarked. It was noteworthy that the judge allowed for the state to file an appeal. I don’t believe he anticipates a trial in this case this year. “.

The primary defense attorney for Trump in the Georgia election meddling case, Steve Sadow, claimed McAfee made “the right legal decision.”. “.

In a statement, Sadow said, “The counts dismissed against President Trump are 5, 28, and 38, which falsely claimed that he solicited GA public officials to violate their oath of office.”. “The prosecution did not specifically allege any alleged wrongdoing on those counts, so the ruling is a correct application of the law.”. The prosecution of President Trump should be dropped because it is entirely political and amounts to election meddling. “.

A representative for the Fulton County district attorney’s office, Jeff DeSantis, stated that the decision is being examined.

Fani Willis ruling will be announced soon.

The defendants’ ethical accusations against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis were not addressed in the new ruling. According to McAfee, a decision will be made on that matter by the end of the week.

“I intend to adhere to my schedule,” McAfee stated to CNN early on Wednesday. He didn’t give any more details.

More information has been added to this story.

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