Georgia prosecutor believes Trump case extends to 2025

Fannie T. Willis, the Atlanta district attorney leading the election interference case against former President Donald J. Trump and 14 of his allies, said Tuesday that the trial “very likely won’t be over until the winter or early 2025.” ”

She also defended the scope of the racketeering indictment that she filed in August, pointing out that in her career she has prosecuted much larger racketeering cases. The defendants in such cases “engaged in a criminal enterprise,” she said. “They deserve to be charged. In fact, they deserved it.”

Ms. Willis’ office charged Mr. Trump and 18 other defendants with participating in a criminal enterprise to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The four defendants have already entered into plea agreements and agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors.

The time of the trial for the other defendants is not clear, because the date of the trial has not been set. But there are all speculations that the district attorney will ask for the beginning of the summer.

Ms. Willis’ comments, at a women’s conference held by The Washington Post, came as her office sought an emergency protective order barring the release of discovery material in the Georgia case. On Monday, videos of the private testimony of the defendants who took the plea deals were leaked to several news outlets; Ms. Willis’ office said she did not leak the videos, which she shared with defense lawyers.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee scheduled a hearing on the motion for Wednesday.

In one of the videos, obtained by ABC NewsJenna Ellis, a former Trump campaign lawyer who pleaded guilty to a felony last month, said that in December 2020, one of Mr. Trump’s longtime aides told her he refused to leave the White House “under any circumstances” despite losing the election.

in another, first reported by The PostKenneth Chesebro, another lawyer who worked on the Trump campaign, revealed to prosecutors that he met with the president at the White House in mid-December 2020. Mr. Chesebro also discussed a memo he drafted shortly after the election that said 1. 6 . 2021 was “the right deadline to resolve the electoral votes of a state”.

In the weeks after Mr. Chesebro wrote the memo, the Trump administration deployed dummy voters in swing state elections as part of a plan to pressure Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the results of the Jan. 6 election.

At a conference call on Tuesday, Ms Willis was asked if it was surprising the tapes were leaked.

“Surprising no, disappointing yes,” she said, adding that such statements — known as “offers” — by defendants who pleaded guilty helped prosecutors make their case against more prominent defendants “on the ladder.”

“A prosecutor in Fulton County always wants to get to the top of the ladder,” she said, speaking generally but very likely alluding to Mr. Trump.

Steve Sadow, Mr Trump’s top lawyer in Georgia, dismissed the content of the video on Monday, saying “the only salient fact in this nonsense investigation is that President Trump left the White House on January 20, 2021 and returned to Mar-a- Lago.”

Ted Goodman, a spokesman for Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer and a defendant in the case, said that Ms. Willis’ suggestion that the trial be extended to 2025 “just further shows how this whole bogus case is part of the Democrat party’s attempt and permanent political classes to keep Donald Trump out of the White House in 2024.

In her comments on Tuesday, Ms Willis said she knew when she started the investigation that she would be threatened. But she was surprised by the number of threats made to her – more than 100, she said, many of them racist.

Did I have any doubt that when the threats came, so many of them, their nature would be so racist and that this country still has so much venom because of the fact that I’m black?” she said. “I’ve been called the N-word so many times in the last three years I can’t even begin to think how many times.”

“We will continue to do business as usual,” she said. But she added that she now has so much security that she couldn’t easily go out for a casual drink with friends.

She declined to comment when asked whether there had been “meaningful contact” between her office and Jack Smith, the special prosecutor appointed by the Justice Department who is handling two other criminal cases against Mr. Trump.

Ms. Willis, an elected Democrat, insisted she was not a supporter of the way Mr. Trump and some other conservatives have portrayed her. She described herself as a law and order district attorney.

“I’m the prosecutor,” she said. “I’ll put you in prison for life and get a good night’s sleep over it.”

Christian Boone contributed reporting from Georgia.

Categories USA

Leave a Comment