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Judge Makes Decision on Televising Trump’s Georgia Trial

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


A judge has ruled that court proceedings in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants in Fulton County, Georgia, will be televised and livestreamed.

All hearings and trials will be broadcast on the Fulton County Court YouTube channel, according to several media sources. Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the case, said pool coverage for broadcast news media will be allowed.

“He also faces two federal indictments — one related to the mishandling of classified information and another also related to 2020 election interference — but federal courtrooms generally do not allow cameras. The former president also faces charges in Manhattan related to hush money payments before the 2016 election,” The Hill reported.

“However, if any of the defendants get their case transferred to federal court, as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is attempting to do, McAfee’s ruling would not apply. Meadows took the stand in Atlanta on Monday at a hearing where he argued his case should be moved. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones did not rule on the case at the hearing and will issue a ruling in writing at a later time,” the outlet added.

A growing number of state Republican lawmakers in Georgia are examining ways to stop Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from prosecuting Trump after she indicted him and 18 others over racketeering allegations linked to the 2020 election.

“Soon after the indictment against Trump and others was filed, discussions were underway to have Willis removed from office or face investigations and impeachment hearings over allegations of a partisan probe against the former president and frontrunner in the 2024 GOP primary,” Newsweek noted.

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One move some GOP lawmakers are considering is using a law signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in May that would allow them to establish a new commission that would have the authority to remove local prosecutors who are deemed unable to fulfill their “constitutional and statutory duties.”

In a statement released then, Kemp’s office said that the creation of the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PAQC), which is set to begin receiving complaints about prosecutors starting from October 1, will function as a “valuable oversight mechanism” for district attorneys within the state.

In a post on Facebook, GOP Georgia state Sen. Clint Dixon said he would call on the PAQC to investigate Willis for allegedly targeting Trump for political purposes and her apparent “unabashed goal to become some sort of leftist celebrity.”

“Once the Prosecutorial Oversight Committee is appointed in October, we can call on them to investigate and take action against Fani Willis and her efforts that weaponize the justice system against political opponents,” Dixon wrote.

“This is our best measure, and I will be ready to call for that investigation,” he noted further.

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee is pressing Democratic Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to provide details regarding her prosecution of former President Donald 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. Indeed, sometime on or around February 11, 2021, your office purportedly sent a letter to several Republican officials in Georgia, requesting that they preserve documents relating to a ‘matter . . . of high priority’ that your office was investigating.

“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. Moreover, you have requested that the trial in this matter begin on March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday and eight days before the Georgia presidential primary,” the letter adds. “It is therefore unsurprising many have speculated that this indictment and prosecution are designed to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”

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