Fulton County DA Fani Willis proposes Trump’s Georgia trial date the day before Super Tuesday

The arraignment will take place on 5 September 2023

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 16 August 2023 17:31 EDT
Trump vows to fight 4th indictment after charges laid in Georgia

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has proposed a trial date of 4 March 2024 for her case against former president Donald Trump and his associates.

That happens to be the day before Super Tuesday, when fourteen states and American Samoa will hold their elections for the Republican nomination. Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia will all hold their nominating contests.

But the court date will come before the early nominating contests, including the Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire Primary, the Nevada Primary and the South Carolina primary. Mr Trump currently leads in all four states and maintains a dominance among the Republican electorate. After the news of his indictment, many Republicans, including his opponents for the nomination, lept to his defence.

A filing in the Superior Court of Fulton County for the state of Georgia shows Ms Willis’s office will have the arraignment for Mr Trump and his 18 co-defendants on 5 September 2023.

“In light of Defendant Donald John Trump’s other criminal and civil matters pending in the courts of our sister sovereigns the State of Georgia proposes certain deadlines that do not conflict with these other courts’ already-scheduled hearings and trial dates,” the filing said.

“Further, the proposed dates are requested so as to allow the Defendants’ needs to review discovery and prepare for trial but also to protect the State of Georgia’s and the public’s interest in a prompt resolution of the charges for which the Defendants have been indicted.”

A grand jury in Fulton County indicted Mr Trump and 18 of his allies and alleged that they participated in a criminal enterprise in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.

The twice-impeached, four-times indicted former president faces 13 criminal counts. He and every other defendant faces a charge of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law.

Mr Trump also faces charges on conspiracy to impersonate a public officer; two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery; two counts of conspiracy to make false statements under oath; two counts of conspiracy to file false documents; two counts of two counts of solicitation of a public officer; filing false documents; conspiracy to solicit false statements and making false statements.

In addition to Mr Trump, the grand jury indicted former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani; former Trump attorney John Eastman; former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; attorney Kenneth Cheesbro; former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; attorney Ray Smith; lawyer Robert Cheeley; Trump campaign official Mike Roman; attorney Sidney Powell; and former Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis, among others.

“Trump and the other defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump. That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the state of Georgia, and in other states,” the unsealed indictment said.

Ms Willis first announced the probe in early 2021 after Mr Trump attempted to overturn the election results in Georgia after President Joe Biden narrowly won the state. Mr Trump repeatedly insisted he won the state despite evidence to the contrary and pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to change the results in his favour.

Mr Trump has maintained his innocence and said he did nothing wrong when he called Mr Raffensperger or in his attempt to overturn the election.

-Andrew Feinberg contributed to this report

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