April 24, 2024

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Georgia judge allows attorney under conditions in Trump trial

Georgia judge allows attorney under conditions in Trump trial

A judge in Donald Trump's trial in the state of Georgia for illegal efforts to alter the results of the 2020 US presidential election on Friday rejected a prosecutor's dismissal request but imposed conditions for a continuance.

• Read more: Classified documents: Trump calls for dismissal of Florida investigation

The decision removes a major obstacle to the trial of the former president and his 14 co-defendants, for which no date has yet been set. Targeted by four separate criminal charges, the Republican nominee for November's election is seeking through multiple appeals to go to trial as late as possible after the vote.

Judge Scott McAfee ruled that prosecutor Fannie Willis did not have enough evidence of a “conflict of interest” related to her close relationship with an investigator she hired in the case.

But he called for his withdrawal from the case, citing “an appearance of inappropriate conduct” and a “lack of great judgment” on the part of the prosecution. , returns

Detective Nathan Wade.

AFP

Detective Nathan Wade.

Donald Trump's attorney in Georgia, Steve Sado, responded in a statement, “As we continue to fight to end this practice, we will pursue all available legal options.”

A withdrawal from Fannie Willis would have significantly delayed the conduct of this trial. In November, the prosecutor proposed to open the case on August 5 and requested that the remaining 15 defendants be tried together.

The judge did not comment on a possible timetable, but indicated he would support two separate trials if more defendants remain.

Four of the 19 people initially targeted by an indictment issued on August 14 have already pleaded guilty, specifically under the Georgia (Southeast) Organized Crime Act. The other defendants were given reduced sentences without prison time in exchange for their testimony at future trials.

Mr. Trump's co-defendants include his former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his recent White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

A Supreme Court ruling is awaited

Judge McAfee's decision comes a day after the announcement of a mistrial in another criminal trial of Donald Trump in New York state, which could lead to an adjournment.

The Manhattan attorney's office said it is willing to postpone for 30 days its trial scheduled for March 25 in New York in a case involving a cover-up of payments to an adult film actress during the 2016 election campaign.

The Republican nominee to challenge outgoing Democratic President Joe Biden was able to postpone his federal trial in Washington, already scheduled for March 4, to claim immunity as a former president for trying to illegally alter the results of the 2020 election.

The United States Supreme Court took up the question and agreed to hold hearings on April 25, with a decision expected in June or July, pending a stay of proceedings.

Also, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, scheduled for May 20 for alleged casual handling of classified documents, will also have to be postponed by several months.

After he left the White House in January 2021, he is being sued for compromising national security by keeping secret documents he kept secret at his private home in Florida (southeast).

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If he is re-elected, he could be ordered to stop federal proceedings against him once he takes office in January 2025.