Trump's Lawyer Argues Georgia Election

An attorney for former President Donald Trump told a Fulton County court on Friday that the Georgia election interference indictment against Trump “needs to be dismissed” because it charges actions that the First Amendment covers. Attorneys for the former president and several of his co-defendants are asking for the case to be dropped or the future deadlines to be pushed back. The argument happened in the first of two hearings that are set to happen on Friday.

“You take the facts as alleged in the indictment, and when you do that, you find that it violates free speech, freedom of petitioning, and all the expressions that the First Amendment is designed to protect,” the court heard from Trump’s attorney, Steve Sadow. It was the first time Republicans for Trump have made a point in the case.

Donald Trump’s co-defendant Robert Cheeley’s lawyer, Chris Anulewicz, said, “Every single count of the complaint, every single act… relates to that political speech about probably the most important election in 2020: the presidential election.” Anulewicz made most First Amendment arguments, telling the judge that political speech is “given the highest level of protection of any speech.”

The Fulton County district attorney’s office prosecutor disagreed with the First Amendment claim, saying the case is about much more than speech. Assistant District Attorney Will Wooten said, “Some of these are expression crimes, and some of them are not.” “Conspiracy is not a sentence-affecting offence. Fraudulent agreements are involved in the crime.

Trump's Lawyer Argues Georgia Election

“There are many more on the list,” Wooten said. Furthermore, Sadow refused to go along with the Fulton County district attorney’s suggestion of a hearing date of August 5, citing the 2024 presidential election as a reason.

“Can you imagine the Republican nominee for president not being able to campaign for the presidency because he is in some form or fashion in a courtroom defending himself?” Sadow asked the court questions. They said, “That would be the most effective election interference in U.S. history.” Nobody wants to be in that situation, I think.”

Fulton County’s special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, said, “Let’s be clear: this is not election interference.” “This is moving forward with the business of Fulton County.” Judicial Scott McAfee asked, “Could he even be tried in 2025?” to see what would happen if Trump won the election.

Trump's Lawyer Argues Georgia Election

“The answer to that is, I believe, that under the supremacy clause and his duties as president, this trial would not take place at all until after he left his term of office,” Sadow replied. An attorney for Trump co-defendant, John Eastman, said that his client thought the trial date should be moved from August to a later date. “There are a number of defendants, as noted, who are not running for president of the United States,” he told us.

They pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in the Fulton County district attorney’s broad racketeering accusation for allegedly trying to change the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jena Ellis, and Scott Hall later agreed to plead guilty in exchange for testifying against other suspects. Judge McAfee said that he wanted to divide the 14 remaining defendants in the case into various trials but that it was “still a little too far out” to decide how many defendants would be in each trial.

Sadow claimed a “remarkable” overlap between the two cases while arguing for access to discovery materials in the federal election interference case that special counsel Jack Smith brought against Trump. He also requested permission to subpoena Smith’s team and Trump’s D.C. counsel for the records. Sadow argued that the special counsel’s office “has relevant and material information that deals with the allegations in this case” and needed a list of the discoveries to find out what they had.

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He told the judge, “A perfect example is what just came out about Vice President Pence.” He was referring to recent reports from ABC News that Mike Pence had earlier this year told the special counsel’s team that, among other things, he had told Trump in the days before the Jan.

6 attack on the Capitol that he still hadn’t seen evidence of major election fraud, but Trump didn’t change his mind and kept saying the election was stolen. That the district attorney’s office’s case was “unrelated” to any other investigation but that “if it becomes our business, we will cooperate.” Justice McAfee put the matter on hold for now, saying, “We’ll put a pin in it for next time.”

Lawyers for Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, and Jeffrey Clark, a former official in the Justice Department, presented arguments on Friday as well, trying to delay several deadlines that are coming up quickly in the case. There was a delay in the judge’s decision because Meadows’ lawyer is working to move the case to federal court. This is not a big ask, in my opinion. “I don’t think it causes any harm to the state,” Meadows’ lawyer told the judge.

The attorney for Clark asked for a short extension because of schedule issues and the seriousness of Clark’s legal problems. According to Clark’s lawyer, Harry MacDougal, “I hate lawyers whining, but there is only so much I can get done.”

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