Trump says he will not try to have his Georgia election interference case moved to federal court

Former president and 18 other defendants have all pleaded not guilty in sprawling Fulton County Rico case

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 28 September 2023 19:10 EDT

Related video: Trump has the moral compass of an ‘axe murderer’, says former Georgia Republican

Donald Trump says he will not try to have his Georgia election interference case moved from state to federal court.

Lawyers for the former president notified a Fulton County court that he would not seek to switch the location of the sweeping Rico case in which he and 18 others are charged.

The move came three weeks after Mr Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had his bid to move his case to federal court denied by a judge.

Mr Trump and all of the other defendants, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, have pleaded not guilty to charges that they plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state. Mr Trump faces 13 felony charges in the Rico case.

His filing on Thursday stated that his decision came down to his “well-founded confidence that this Honorable Court intends to fully and completely protect his constitutional right to a fair trial and guarantee him due process of law throughout the prosecution of his case in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.”

The court filing added: “President Trump now notifies the Court that he will NOT be seeking to remove his case to federal court.”

Mr Trump, who is the first and only former or sitting president to be criminally charged, faces a total of 91 felony counts across his four criminal indictments by state and federal prosecutors.

Former President Donald Trump is shown in a police booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Special Counsel Jack Smith has charged him with four criminal counts over his efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election. These include a conspiracy to violate civil rights, a conspiracy to defraud the government, the corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding and a conspiracy to carry out such obstruction.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan has set a 4 March trial date, the day before the Super Tuesday primaries.

Mr Trump also faces 40 federal felony charges with Mr Smith accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving the White House. That case is expected to go to trial in May 2024.

And he has been accused in New York City of falsifying business records in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election. Mr Trump was indicted in March and is expected to go to trial on 25 March 2024.

He has pleaded not guilty to every charge in each case and has accused prosecutors of “election interference” and an attempt to derail his 2024 run for a second term in the Oval Office.

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