Georgia prosecutor seeks March 4 trial date for Trump election case

Georgia prosecutor seeks March 4 trial date for Trump election case

Fani Willis asks for Trump, 18 co-defendants to be arraigned week of Sept 5; judge in case to have final word

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed Wednesday that former US President Donald Trump's case regarding Georgia election meddling charges proceed March 4.

That would be roughly one day before Super Tuesday when more than a dozen states hold Republican primary nominating contests. Georgia will hold its primary the following week.

Trump remains the Republican front-runner as the campaign season prepares to enter high-gear

The motion filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County by Willis' office also recommends that Trump and his co-defendants be arraigned the week of Sept. 5.

Dates will also be proposed by Trump's legal team, which is expected to oppose the scheduling offered by Willis. Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee will have the final say on the matter.

Willis is seeking to have Trump and 18 co-defendants tried jointly. All of those charged have until Aug. 25 to surrender to law enforcement for booking, and Trump is expected to have his mugshot taken when he appears at the Fulton County Jail, a first in the four ongoing criminal cases against him.

A Georgia grand jury returned a 41-count indictment late Monday against Trump and the 18 others he is charged alongside.

The 98-page indictment says Trump and his co-defendants, including personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former senior Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, attorneys Sidney Powell and John Eastman, "constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities."

Trump was charged in Georgia with 13 criminal counts, including violations of the Georgia state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer and conspiracy to commit false statements.

He has now been indicted four times across state and federal courts since he left office. The charges range from hush money payments to an adult film star, efforts to overturn national election results, unlawful retention of classified documents and efforts to prevent investigators from completing their duties.

Willis' probe was sparked by a Jan. 2, 2021 telephone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he urged the senior state official to "find 11,780 votes,” the number he would have needed to win the battleground state. A recording of the call was later leaked to the media.

Willis' investigation went on to include a probe of fake local electors who attempted to certify fraudulent election results in Trump's favor.

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