ATLANTA (AP) — Former President donald trump and some other defendants are waiving their right to request a speedy trial in the Georgia case in which they are accused of participate in an illegal scheme to reverse his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.
The filings are part of legal maneuvering as Fulton County district attorney. Fani Willisseeks to try all 19 defendants together starting next month. Most of the defendants have tried to separate their cases from some or all of the others, and many say they will not be ready for Oct. 23, when a trial is set for two defendants who have already filed lawsuits for a quick trial. the judge has expressed skepticism that all accused I could go to trial that day.
Trump was the first to introduce the speedy trial exemption. Trump, an early favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, has previously tried to slow down proceedings in his other criminal cases as he seeks to return to the White House in the 2024 election. He faces prosecution in a state case in New York , as well as in federal cases in Washington and Florida.
Trump’s waiver of his right to a speedy trial came Tuesday on the heels of a brief filed by Willis’ office arguing that all defendants should be tried together for reasons of efficiency and fairness. Prosecutors said holding several lengthy trials instead of one starting Oct. 23 would “create enormous strain on the judicial resources” of the court and favor defendants tried later, who would have the advantage of seeing the evidence and the state’s arguments before the hearing. time.
Several other defendants on Wednesday submitted similar waivers of their right to a speedy trial.
Under Georgia law, any defendant who files a speedy trial lawsuit has the right to have the trial begin within the court deadline in which the lawsuit is filed or the next court deadline. Court terms in Fulton County last two months and begin on the first Mondays of January, March, May, July, September and November.
Georgia’s indictment against Trump and the others was filed in the court term that ended earlier this month. Attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro filed their speedy trial demands before the end of that court term, meaning the trial would have to begin before the current court term ends in early November. The judge has set it to begin on October 23.
Prosecutors had noted in their brief Tuesday that while many of the defendants had filed motions to separate their cases from others, they had not waived their right to demand a speedy trial. They expressed concern that it could result in several trials in the high-profile case being held simultaneously.
Meanwhile, five of the defendants are currently seeking to have their cases heard in federal court rather than state court. Among them is Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who argued that his actions alleged in the indictment were taken within the scope of his duties as a federal official.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones last week rejected Meadows’ arguments and sent his case back to Fulton County Superior Court. Meadows appealed Jones’ ruling to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He asked Jones to stay his decision while the appeal is pending, but on Tuesday Jones issued an order denying that request. Meadows still has a similar suspension request pending before the appeals court, and a virtual hearing for that request was scheduled for Friday.
The other four defendants who intend to take their cases to federal court — former U.S. Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and three phony electors — have hearings before Jones scheduled for next week.
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