(RightWing.org) – Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis indicted Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants on August 14. Ten days later, the former president surrendered to sheriff’s office authorities after his legal team negotiated a bond consent order with the court.
Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee scheduled Trump for arraignment on the 13 charges he’s facing on September 6 at 9:30 a.m. McAfee also planned arraignments for several co-defendants on the same day in 15-minute intervals. For example, Rudy Giuliani’s arraignment is set to occur at 9:45 a.m.
The Charges Trump Faces
The former president is facing 13 charges under the indictment. They include violation of Geogia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, three counts of asking a public servant to violate an oath of office, two counts of conspiracy to make or write false statements, conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, conspiracy to file false documents, filing false documents, and two counts of making or writing false statements.
The charges relate to allegations that Trump and others worked together to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. The indictment claims the former president and co-defendants planned, coordinated, and executed their actions in Georgia and elsewhere to obtain their goal, forming the basis of the RICO charge. The charging document also names some of those individual actions in separate charges.
Trump has already told reporters he planned to plead innocent of all charges. He has consistently claimed Willis goaded the grand jury into handing down the indictment and charges to interfere with his current election bid. He has called the allegations baseless and shameful.
Co-Defendants Participate in Legal Wrangling
Meanwhile, at least four Trump co-defendants are seeking to move their cases to federal court. Those individuals include Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff; Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department (DOJ) official; David Shafer, a former Georgia state senator and GOP chair who became one of the alleged “fake” electors; and Shawn Still, a current state senator accused as a “fake” elector.
On August 28, Meadows testified before US District Judge Steve C. Jones in support of his case’s transfer, but Jones hasn’t issued a decision yet. He warned Meadows to attend his September 6 Georgia arraignment if he had not received a ruling by that time. Jones scheduled a September 18 hearing to entertain Clark’s arguments on moving the venue.
Additionally, on August 28, Defendant Ray Smith, a Georgia attorney who represented Trump in 2020 election-related cases, pleaded not guilty and waived his arraignment in a court filing. He was the first defendant to enter a plea. Likewise, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell also pleaded not guilty on August 29 and waived arraignment.
Additionally, Powell followed the actions of defendant Kenneth Chesebro and submitted a motion demanding a speedy trial. Judge McAfee obliged, setting a trial date for October 23. At the time, McAfee said his order only applied to Chesebro.
Although McAfee accelerated the date by at least four months, Willis didn’t object. In fact, she entered a motion on August 29 asking McAfee to expedite all 19 defendants’ cases, allowing her to try them together to show the interplay between the defendants, supporting the RICO charge.
If McAfee approves Willis’s request, Georgia could become the first jurisdiction to bring Trump to trial on criminal charges. He also faces three other criminal proceedings. Courts have currently scheduled two for March 2024 and one for May 2024.
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