The judge dismissed charges against Trump in the election interference case

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ATLANTA (AP) — The judge overseeing the Georgia 2020 election interference case on Wednesday dismissed some of the charges against former President Donald Trump and others, but the rest of the sweeping racketeering indictment remains intact.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee quashed six counts in the indictment, including three against Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
But the judge left in place other counts — including 10 facing Trump — and said prosecutors could seek a new indictment to try to reinstate the ones he dismissed.
The ruling is a blow for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who already is facing an effort to have her removed from the prosecution over her romantic relationship with a colleague.
It’s the first time charges in any of Trump’s four criminal cases have been dismissed, with the judge saying prosecutors failed to provide enough detail about the alleged crime.
The sprawling indictment charges Trump and more than a dozen other defendants with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.
The case uses a statute normally associated with mobsters to accuse the former president, lawyers and other aides of a “criminal enterprise” to keep him in power after he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.
Defense attorneys applauded the ruling, which came after challenges to the indictment from Trump, former New York mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorneys John Eastman, Ray Smith and Robert Cheeley.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
“The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts,” Trump attorney Steve Sadow said.
“The entire prosecution of President Trump is political, constitutes election interference, and should be dismissed.”Jeff DiSantis, a spokesperson for Willis, declined to comment other than to say prosecutors were reviewing the ruling.
The six challenged counts charge the defendants with soliciting public officers to violate their oaths.
One count stems from a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, on Jan. 2, 2021, in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.”Another of the dismissed counts accuses Trump of soliciting then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston to violate his oath of office by calling a special session of the legislature to unlawfully appoint presidential electors.
McAfee said the counts did not allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of the violations.
“The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal,” McAfee wrote.
“They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently.”McAfee’s order leaves Meadows facing only a RICO charge.
Jim Durham, a lawyer for Meadows, declined to comment.
The order quashed three of 13 counts against Giuliani.
“There simply was not enough detail to put the defendants on notice of what to defend against,” Giuliani’s attorney Allyn Stockton said, adding that the ruling “effectively removes nearly 25% of the charges” against his client.
McAfee wrote that prosecutors could seek a reindictment to supplement the six dismissed counts.
Even if the statute of limitations has expired, the judge gave the state six months to resubmit the case to a grand jury.
Prosecutors could also ask for permission to appeal the ruling.
The case has yet to be scheduled for trial.
The ruling comes as McAfee is considering a bid to have Willis disqualified from the case over what defense attorneys say is a conflict of interest due to her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.
McAfee is expected to rule by the end of this week on the disqualification bid, which would throw the most sprawling of the four criminal cases against Trump into question.
Willis, who has said their relationship ended months ago, has said there is no conflict of interest and no reason to remove her from the case.
The nearly 100-page Georgia indictment details dozens of alleged acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat, including harassing an election worker, who faced false claims of fraud, and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and appoint a new slate of Electoral College electors favorable to Trump.
Of the 19 people originally charged in the indictment, four have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors.
They include prominent Trump allies and attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro.
The Georgia case covers some of the same ground as the federal case in Washington brought by special counsel Jack Smith that charges Trump with conspiring to overturn his election loss in a desperate bid to stay in power.
Trump is charged separately by Smith with hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and thwarting

ATLANTA (AP) — On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the Georgia 2020 election interference case threw out a portion of the charges brought against former President Donald Trump and other individuals. However, the grand racketeering indictment is still in place.

Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court struck down six counts in the indictment, three of which were against Trump, the presumed Republican nominee for president in 2024. However, the judge maintained the validity of other counts, including the ten that included Trump, and indicated that the prosecution may file a new indictment in an attempt to revive the ones he had dismissed.

The decision is a setback for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is already dealing with a move to have her criminal case dropped due to her liaison with a coworker. For the first time in any of Trump’s four criminal cases, the judge has dismissed charges because she found that the prosecution did not provide enough information about the alleged crime.

Trump and more than a dozen other defendants are accused of breaking Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, in the extensive indictment. The case accuses the former president, attorneys, and other advisers of a “criminal enterprise” to maintain his position of authority following his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 election. It does this by using a statute typically associated with mobsters.

Following Trump, former New York mayor and Trump’s current attorney Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and attorneys John Eastman, Ray Smith, and Robert Cheeley challenging the indictment, defense attorneys celebrated the decision. Each of them entered a not guilty plea.

As the prosecution did not present specific charges of any purported wrongdoing on those counts, Trump’s lawyer Steve Sadow stated, “the ruling is a correct application of the law.”. “The President Trump case as a whole should be dropped because it is entirely political and interferes with the election. “.

Willis’s spokesperson, Jeff DiSantis, refrained from commenting beyond stating that the decision was being examined by the prosecution.

The defendants are accused of encouraging public officials to break their oaths on the six counts that are being contested. One count is related to a conversation Trump had on January 27 with fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. 2, 2021, in which Raffensperger was asked by Trump to “locate 11,780 votes.”. “.

In a different count that was dropped, Trump is accused of encouraging Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, who was at the time, to break his oath of office by calling a special session of the legislature in order to illegitimately select presidential electors.

According to McAfee, the counts lacked enough information to describe the specifics of the infractions.

McAfee stated, “In the undersigned’s opinion, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is fatal.”. “They don’t provide the Defendants with enough information to thoughtfully prepare their defenses. “.

Meadows only faces a RICO charge as a result of McAfee’s order. The attorney for Meadows, Jim Durham, remained silent. Three of the 13 counts against Giuliani were quashed by the order.

“The decision essentially strikes down almost twenty-five percent of the charges” against Giuliani, according to his lawyer Allyn Stockton, who also stated that “there was just not enough information to put the defendants on notice of what to defend against.”.

Prosecutors might file a new indictment to add to the six counts that were dropped, according to McAfee. The judge granted the state six months to resubmit the case to a grand jury, even though the statute of limitations had passed. Additionally, prosecutors might request authorization to appeal the decision. Trial date in this case is not yet set.

The decision is being made at the same time that McAfee is debating whether to file a motion to remove Willis from the case on the grounds that her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade creates a conflict of interest. The most comprehensive of the four criminal cases against Trump would be put in jeopardy if McAfee were to rule against the disqualification bid by the end of this week.

Willis asserts that there is no conflict of interest and no justification for removing her from the case, citing the fact that their relationship ended months ago.

Numerous alleged actions by Trump or his allies to avert his defeat are detailed in the nearly 100-page Georgia indictment. These actions include pestering an election worker who was the target of false accusations of fraud and trying to convince Georgia lawmakers to disregard the wishes of the electorate and select a new group of electors who would be supportive of Trump.

After striking agreements with the prosecution, four of the 19 individuals who were initially named in the indictment have entered guilty pleas. Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro are well-known Trump supporters and lawyers.

Some of the same allegations made in the Georgia case are also made in the federal case filed in Washington by Special Counsel Jack Smith, which accuses Trump of attempting to overturn his election defeat in an effort to maintain his position of power. Separately, Smith accuses Trump of stowing away classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and resisting attempts by the government to obtain them.

Later this month, Trump is expected to go on trial in the New York lawsuit wherein he is charged with fabricating internal company records to conceal the true nature of payments made to a former attorney who assisted Trump in suppressing unfavorable news during his 2016 presidential campaign.

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