Trump’s Lawyer Claims Trial During Campaign Would Be ‘Election Interference’ If He Becomes GOP Nominee

by Chloe Baker
Trump Georgia Trial

A legal representative for ex-President Donald Trump argued on Friday that putting Trump on trial in Georgia while he is potentially the Republican presidential nominee would constitute “election interference.” This statement was made in the context of the upcoming general election.

Judge Scott McAfee of the Fulton County Superior Court, while addressing requests to postpone pretrial deadlines by two of Trump’s co-defendants, broached the topic of trial scheduling. However, he did not commit to setting a trial date immediately.

District Attorney Fani Willis proposed last month that the trial for all defendants, including Trump and 14 others, start on August 5. Considering the prosecution’s estimation of four months to present their case, excluding jury selection, this schedule would overlap with the climax of the election campaign.

During the Friday hearing, Trump’s attorney, Sadow, posed a hypothetical scenario where the Republican presidential nominee might be incapacitated from campaigning due to court proceedings, labeling it as potentially the most significant instance of election interference in U.S. history.

However, prosecutor Nathan Wade dismissed these concerns, stating that the trial does not interfere with the election. He emphasized that it is merely the continuation of Fulton County’s judicial process and should not hinder Trump’s campaign efforts or his pursuit of office.

In August, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others, accusing them of an illegal scheme to overturn the 2020 election results and unlawfully keep Trump in power despite his loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Out of these, four defendants have already admitted guilt through plea agreements, while the remaining 15, including Trump, have pleaded not guilty.

Trump is currently the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Sadow also highlighted Trump’s involvement in three additional criminal trials set for next year – federal cases in Washington and Florida, and a state case in New York. He suggested deferring the setting of a trial date to observe how these cases develop.

Sadow raised a constitutional query to Judge McAfee, inquiring if Trump could be tried in 2025 should he win the presidency in November, suggesting that the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause and presidential responsibilities would prevent a trial during his tenure.

Additionally, Willis requested the judge to set a final plea deal deadline for June 21, after which the prosecution would recommend maximum penalties. Judge McAfee was uncertain about the necessity of this deadline, noting that the district attorney could independently determine a cut-off date for plea considerations.

Attorney Buddy Parker, representing John Eastman, expressed concerns over a potential 2025 trial date, arguing for a separate trial for his client from Trump, given the complexities involved. Parker also showed willingness for an earlier trial date, even before August.

Prosecutors have consistently advocated for a single trial, citing efficiency and fairness, although Judge McAfee has previously expressed doubts about trying over a dozen defendants simultaneously. He suggested the possibility of dividing the defendants into two groups, with the prosecution deciding the order of trial.

The hearing also covered Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former U.S. Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark’s requests to extend the deadline for filing pretrial motions as they seek to move their cases to federal court. Although a federal judge denied these requests, both have appealed. Judge McAfee extended the motions deadline to February 1 for Meadows and Clark.

The hearing also included debates on numerous defense motions, challenging aspects of the indictment and arguing for the legitimacy of actions taken by a group of Republicans at the state Capitol in December 2020. Defense attorneys contended that these actions are protected political speech under the First Amendment.

Sadow also plans to file a motion asserting presidential immunity for Trump, who was in office during most of the indicted actions. He also intends to request evidence lists from the Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith’s case against Trump for potential relevance to the Georgia case.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Trump Georgia Trial

What is the concern raised by Trump’s attorney regarding his trial in Georgia?

Trump’s attorney argued that conducting the trial in Georgia during Trump’s potential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination would amount to “election interference.” This concern arises from the belief that the trial could impede Trump’s ability to campaign effectively for the presidency.

How did the prosecutor respond to the claim of election interference?

Prosecutor Nathan Wade refuted the claim of election interference, stating that the trial is a continuation of Fulton County’s judicial process and should not hinder Trump’s campaign efforts or his pursuit of office.

What are the charges against Trump and the other defendants in the Georgia case?

Trump and 18 others were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury, accused of participating in an illegal scheme to overturn the 2020 election results and unlawfully keep Trump in power despite losing to Democrat Joe Biden.

Is there a proposed trial date for Trump’s case in Georgia?

District Attorney Fani Willis proposed starting the trial on August 5. However, Trump’s attorney suggested postponing the setting of a trial date to consider Trump’s involvement in other ongoing legal matters.

Has Trump’s attorney mentioned any constitutional concerns regarding the trial?

Yes, Trump’s attorney raised a constitutional question about whether Trump could be tried in 2025 if he wins the presidency in November, suggesting that the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause and presidential responsibilities might prevent a trial during his tenure.

More about Trump Georgia Trial

  • Trump’s Legal Challenges
  • Election Interference Debate
  • 2024 Presidential Election Controversy
  • Trump Indictment Details
  • Constitutional Questions in Trump’s Trial

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TommyG December 2, 2023 - 12:24 pm

Wait, so Trump’s lawyer is actually arguing that he can’t be tried if he’s running for office? That’s just nuts…

SarahH December 2, 2023 - 11:25 pm

Seriously, how can a trial be election interference? Justice should be blind to political campaigns.

Linda_M December 3, 2023 - 1:57 am

This is just a tactic to delay the trial, isn’t it? Politics always getting in the way of justice smh.

Mike Johnson December 3, 2023 - 2:07 am

can’t believe they’re trying to call this election interference! Trump’s got to face the music just like anyone else would, right?


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