Trump attorneys oppose DA's request to try all 19 Georgia election defendants together

DA Fani Willis on Tuesday reiterated her desire to try all defendants at once.

August 30, 2023, 2:54 PM

Former President Donald Trump's attorney filed a motion Wednesday opposing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' new request to try all 19 defendants in her Georgia election interference case together.

The Trump filing urged the judge to stick with his earlier ruling that only Kenneth Chesebro -- who filed a speedy trial motion asking for an expediated trial -- stand trial on Oct. 23.

Trump and 18 others were charged in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. The former president says his actions were not illegal and that the investigation is politically motivated.

Willis, in a filing Tuesday, reiterated her desire for all 19 defendants to stand trial together and not be severed from each other, telling the judge that her office "maintains its position that severance is improper at this juncture and that all Defendants should be tried together."

In Wednesday's filing, Trump's attorneys said the right to a fair trial and due process "necessarily includes sufficient time to prepare to defend against a RICO conspiracy charge with 161 Overt Acts."

"Apparently, the DA's office believes that even though its investigation of the defendants consumed over 18 months, the Court has no discretion or choice but to put all the defendants on trial in two months because one or more defendants have demanded a speedy trial," the filing from new Trump attorney Steven Sadow stated.

Willis' filing had said it was "unclear to the State of Georgia from the text of the Order whether the Court's intention was to sever Defendant Chesebro's trial from the other defendants."

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after surrendering at the Fulton County jail on Aug. 24, 2023 in Atlanta.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"Apparently, the DA's office does not believe the Court understands how to properly exercise its discretion to manage this case," the filing added.

"President Trump has already informed the Court that he will be filing a timely motion to sever his case from those who are demanding a speedy trial," the filing said.

Sadow also alerted the judge in a footnote that he already has another trial scheduled for late September for another client.

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