(ATLANTA) — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, in a court filing Friday, is requesting a start date of Aug. 5, 2024, for the trial of former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case.
Willis had originally sought to have all 19 defendants in the case stand trial together last month, but Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee severed the case, calling the move “a procedural and logistical inevitability.”
In Friday’s filing, the DA said the August date “balances potential delays from Defendant Trump’s other criminal trials,” as well as the other defendants’ constitutional speedy-trial rights.
Willis recently said in an interview that she expected the trial to last “many months” — meaning a trial with an August start date could still be underway at the time of the 2024 presidential election.
The DA also requested that the judge set a final plea date of June 21, 2024, as the final date that prosecutors would make negotiated plea deals. After that date, the filing says, defendants would only be able to take non-negotiated deals, in which the state would recommend the maximum sentence.
Willis also asked the judge not to sever the case again until that final plea date, and asked that all defendants remain together for one trial.
“The State clearly retains the logistical and prosecutorial capabilities to try all of the remaining Defendants together,” the DA wrote.
Trump and 18 others pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. Defendants Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jena Ellis and Scott Hall subsequently took plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.
In Friday’s filing, the DA noted that “more Defendants could choose to enter guilty pleas in the future.”
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.