Trump, Judge

Georgia Judge Tosses 6 Counts Against Trump In Election Interference Case

Thought we could count on this judge...

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee dismissed some charges against former president Donald Trump and co-defendants in the Georgia 2020 election interference case. 

In a devastating blow to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, McAfee tossed out six of the indictment’s 41 counts, including three against the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee. Following the dismissal, other counts remain in place—including 10 facing Trump—and now prosecutors could push a new indictment to reinstate the ones dismissed.

The dismissed counts include the defendants soliciting public officers, such as then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, to violate their oaths. Trump was accused of pushing Ralston to call a special session of the legislature to appoint presidential electors unlawfully. Another surrounds a phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021, where Trump allegedly pressured Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.” 

This is the first time any charges against Trump have been dismissed in the four pending criminal cases. McAfee, who is also overseeing efforts to have Willis removed from the prosecution over her romantic relationship with a colleague, said prosecutors failed to provide enough details surrounding the alleged crime.

“The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal,” McAfee wrote. “They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently.”

The ruling was applauded by defense attorneys after indictment challenges came from Trum, former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and attorneys John Eastman, Ray Smith, and Robert Cheeley, all of whom issued not guilty pleas.

“The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts,” attorney Steve Sadow said. “The entire prosecution of President Trump is political, constitutes election interference, and should be dismissed.”

The grueling process started in August 2023 when Willis issued an indictment against Trump and his roster of allies. While a trial has yet to be scheduled in the case, it is unlikely to reach a jury in 2024. Already suffering a loss, four defendants initially charged in the case have already pleaded guilty to lesser charges and have received non-jail sentences. 

The ones remaining are Trump and 14 other defendants. 

McAfee’s ruling does not leave everyone off the hook. Meadows still faces a RICO charge, and Giuliani still has 13 counts against him. Trump still has to face a judge in New York in late March after being accused of falsifying his company’s internal records to hide payment statutes to a former lawyer who allegedly helped him bury negative stories during his 2016 presidential campaign.