Judge Agree To Try Key Defendants Separately

(HorizonPost.com) – Last week, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge agreed to sever two of Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the election interference case, allowing their joint trial to go ahead sooner than the other 17 defendants, NBC News reported.

Judge Scott McAfee agreed last Thursday to sever attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro from the other co-defendants, scheduling a joint trial for the pair starting on October 23. The remaining 17 defendants will be tried at a later date.

In his decision, Judge McAfee indicated that further severances may still occur while pretrial deadlines “proceed as scheduled without a stay of proceedings.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis wanted all 19 defendants tried simultaneously next month. However, Judge McAfee cited the logistical problems and the extended length of a single, crowded trial.

He explained that the courthouse in Fulton County does not contain a courtroom large enough to try all 19 defendants at once, given the multiple defense attorneys and support staff in addition to the court personnel, sheriff’s deputies, and the prosecution team.

The judge said the court would revisit severing the cases of the other defendants who do not file waivers to invoke a speedy trial by the September 29 deadline.

So far, only Powell and Chesebro filed a request for a speedy trial.

In a footnote in his ruling, Judge McAfee noted that other members of the Fulton County bench have assured the court that they are ready to start a second trial during the November/December term.

The judge said severing the other 17 defendants “may well be required,” however, added that the decision is “for another day” once any pretrial motions are resolved “and a realistic trial date approaches.”

Earlier this month, Judge McAfee denied Powell and Chesebro’s separate motions to sever their cases from each other. The defendants’ attorneys argued that dividing their cases was necessary since both defendants are charged with racketeering for allegedly carrying out different schemes.

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