Georgia court severs two of Trump’s co-defendants in election interference case

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A Georgia Judge agreed on Thursday to separate attorneys Kenneth Chesebro, and Sidney Powell, from the 17 remaining co-defendants of a criminal case where former US President Donald Trump is accused along with his allies of interfering with Georgia’s presidential election 2020. The two attorneys will now be tried on October 23 in an Atlanta, Georgia courtroom. With Thursday’s decision, the two are set to proceed to trial on October 23 in an Atlanta, Georgia courtroom.

In his Thursday decision, Judge Scott McAfee said that severing Chesebro and Powell from the other 17 co-defendants in the case was “simply a procedural and logistical inevitability.” While Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told the court that the prosecution would be able to proceed to trial for all 19 co-defendants by the scheduled October 23 trial date, McAfee dismissed the notion.

McAfee noted that, since the court heard arguments on Chesebro and Powell’s severance motions, nine other co-defendants have filed to waive their statutory right to a speedy trial. He also raised concerns that it may be inefficient to try all 19 co-defendants at the same time, citing both logistical concerns about the space required and the potential length of the trial.

Chesebro and Powell also requested to be severed from each other–meaning each would face their criminal charges in their own, separate trials. However, the court denied their request. McAfee hopes to select and swear in a jury by November 3 at the latest for the trial of Chesebro & Powell. McAfee also noted that any of the remaining eight co-defendants who have not spoken to their statutory speedy trial rights by the time that Chesebro and Powell’s trial begins will automatically join with the two’s trial.

Chesebro and Powell are both facing charges stemming from a violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Willis claims that Chesebro, Powell and Trump were involved in Trump’s attempts to influence and overturn Georgia 2020 presidential election results. Chesebro has also been charged with six criminal counts, including conspiracy to impersonate a public official, conspiracy to forge documents in the first-degree, conspiracy to make false statements or writings, and conspiracy of filing false documents. Powell is also facing six criminal charges, including two counts of conspiring to commit election fraud, and one each of conspiracy for computer theft, computer trespass and computer invasion of privacy.