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DA Willis Wants October Trial For All 19 Co-Defendants in Trump Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is pushing for a “speedy trial” of all 19 co-defendants in a case she filed against former President Donald Trump.

Willis made an astonishing request to the court, requesting that all defendants be tried starting on October 23, according to a report. Only two of the co-defendants have been identified thus far: former Trump attorney Sydney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro. However, Willis argued in a court filing on Tuesday that separating the defendants would be “improper.”

In a stunning request to the court, Willis said she wanted to try all defendants beginning Oct. 23, a report said.

MSNBC host Ali Velshi asked network legal analyst Glenn Kirshner, “What is the basis of arguing that severance in a case like this is improper?”

“So, Ali, anytime we indict a co-defendant case, the prosecutors have a keen interest in keeping all defendants in the same trial,” Kirschner said. “The defendants ordinarily have a keen interest to try to get themselves removed from, or severed out, of the joint trial. Why is that? Because any time co-defendants are tried separate from their fellow co-defendants — and I’ve had this happen many times as a prosecutor — they will make what they call ‘the empty chair defense.’”

“So I can almost promise you that one of, for example, defendant Chesebro’s defenses, if he is sitting there, either alone or maybe with Sidney Powell and one or two other co-conspirators, charged co-defendants, I can almost see him saying, ‘You know what? John Eastman, the constitutional scholar, the law school Dean, who should be sitting in that empty chair right there, but he’s not. He is the true architect behind the alternate electors scheme because he assured me there was legal support for it,'” Kirshner continued.

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The legal analyst added that could lead at least one juror to have some reasonable doubt about the case, which would lead to a hung jury and no decision.

Earlier, Kirshner also predicted that “a chorus of voices from many of the co-defendants” will argue that they cannot adequately prepare for trial by Oct. 23.

“It will be really interesting now to see what Judge [Scott] McAfee does now that Fani Willis is prepared to give everyone their speedy trial,” Kirschner added.

Meanwhile, the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee is pressing Democratic DA Willis to provide details regarding her prosecution of Trump.

“Your indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated,” says a letter sent to Willis by the committee.

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The panel lashed out at Willis for appearing to politicize her prosecution of the former president.

“Turning first to the question of motivation, it is noteworthy that just four days before this indictment, you launched a new campaign fundraising website that highlighted your investigation into President Trump,” the letter goes on to say.

“Additionally, the forewoman of the special grand jury you convened to investigate President Trump earlier this year bragged during an unusual media tour about her excitement at the prospect of subpoenaing President Trump and getting to swear him in,” the letter continued.

“Last week, the Fulton County Superior Court’s Clerk publicly released a list of criminal charges against President Trump reportedly hours before the vote of the grand jury,” the letter goes on. “A Fulton County court has disqualified you from targeting current Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones as part of your probe on the grounds that you actively supported and held fundraising events for his Democratic opponent.

“And unlike officials in other jurisdictions, Fulton County officials ‘have suggested [they] will process [the former President] as [a] typical criminal defendant, requiring mug shots and possibly even cash bond,’” which happened, the letter noted further.

Jordan then lashed out at Willis over the timing of the indictment.

“The timing of this prosecution reinforces concerns about your motivation,” the letter said. “In February 2021, news outlets reported that you directed your office to open an investigation into President Trump.

“Yet, you did not bring charges until two-and-a-half years later, at a time when the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is in full swing,” the letter noted.

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