Former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants are facing an emergency hearing in Georgia on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, in a case that accuses them of interfering with the 2020 election in the state.
The hearing was scheduled by a Georgia judge after media reports revealed that confidential interviews with some of the defendants who had entered guilty plea deals were leaked to the public. The judge will decide whether to impose sanctions on the parties involved in the leaks and whether to grant severance motions filed by some of the defendants, including Trump, who want to be tried separately from the others.
The case is being prosecuted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has charged Trump and his co-defendants with racketeering, conspiracy, false statements, and criminal solicitation, among other crimes, for allegedly pressuring Georgia officials to overturn the election results in favor of Trump.
“We are disappointed that the video of our interviews with cooperating witnesses was leaked to the media. We have asked the court to investigate this matter and hold those responsible accountable,” Willis said in a statement.
The leaks are a clear attempt to undermine the integrity of this prosecution and influence the outcome of the trial, according to Clint Rucker, the lead prosecutor for the Fulton County DA’s office.
“We will vigorously oppose any attempts to delay, dismiss, or sever this case,” Rucker said.
Trump and his allies have denied any wrongdoing and have called the case a politically motivated witch hunt that has no legal basis or merit.
“This is a politically motivated witch hunt that has no legal basis or merit. We will fight these baseless charges and expose the corruption and bias of the Fulton County DA’s office,” Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Trump, said.
Some of the co-defendants, such as John Solomon, a conservative reporter who allegedly spread false information about the election, have also sought to distance themselves from Trump and the alleged scheme.
“We have filed a motion to sever our client from this case, because he has nothing to do with the alleged scheme to interfere with the election. He was merely exercising his First Amendment rights as a citizen and a journalist,” Lin Wood, an attorney for Solomon, said.
The case is considered to be the most important criminal case in the history of Georgia and the nation, as it could have implications for the future of democracy and the rule of law.
“This is the most important criminal case in the history of our state and our nation. We will not rest until we bring justice to the people of Georgia and the American people who were robbed of their votes by Trump and his cronies,” Willis said.
The trial is expected to be lengthy and complex, as the Fulton County DA’s office has said that it could go into 2025, given the number of defendants, witnesses, and evidence involved.
– Georgia Judge Schedules Emergency Hearing in Trump RICO Case Following Video Leaks, The Messenger, 11/14/2023
– Trump RICO judge to weigh Fulton County district attorney’s bid for protective order after videos leak, Washington Examiner, 11/15/2023
– Fulton County DA says Trump trial could go into 2025, leak of video testimony ‘disappointing’, MSN, 11/14/2023
– Georgia court posts then removes document detailing charges against Trump, Politico, 08/14/2023