Kenneth Chesbro and Sidney Powell are scheduled to go on trial on October 23.
The judge overseeing the Georgia election interference case has dismissed the case and ordered that 17 defendants — including Donald Trump — will not be tried on Oct. 23, along with speedy trial defendants Kenneth Chesbro and Sidney Powell.
Judge Scott McAfee said severing the remaining 17 defendants was “a practical and logistical inevitability” and did not rule out the possibility that “additional sections” would be needed later.
However, the judge said any defendant who did not waive their right to a speedy trial before October 23 would “immediately” join the trial. Trump has already waived his speedy trial rights.
Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis sought to have all 19 defendants in the case stand trial together, arguing that multiple trials would create a “tremendous strain” on the court.
McAfee, in his ruling, cited due process and substantive discovery issues in the case.
“The court’s alarming ability to protect each defendant’s due process rights ensures that the current accelerated track provides sufficient precedent, if not decisive, support for severance,” his order said.
The judge raised several logistical concerns about the 19-person trial, saying the courtroom was “not large enough to hold all 19 defendants.”
Trump and 18 others have pleaded guilty to all charges in a major fraud indictment in Georgia that allegedly tried to alter the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The former president says his actions were not illegal and that the investigation was politically motivated.
Chesebro was accused in the DA’s indictment of creating a strategy to use so-called “alternative voters” to prevent Joe Biden from getting 270 electoral votes — but his lawyers argued the move was justified because Chesebro worked for Trump. “Discharge of his duty as a lawyer to his client.”
Powell is accused of conspiring with other co-defendants to commit election fraud by encouraging and assisting people to tamper with ballot markers and machines inside an election office in Coffee County.