Judge Rejects Request to Try All 19 Georgia Election Interference Defendants Together
A Georgia judge has rejected prosecutors’ request to try all 19 defendants in the 2020 election interference case together next month.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled that severance is “an absolute necessity” regardless of whether each defendant showed a particular need. He said that trying all 19 defendants together would be too complex and would make it difficult for jurors to follow the case.
The ruling is a major blow to District Attorney Fani Willis, who had argued that trying the defendants together would be the most efficient way to proceed.
It also means that former President Donald Trump will not be tried in October alongside at least two of his co-defendants who have invoked their right to a speedy trial.
McAfee did not set a trial date for Trump, but his ruling sets a motions deadline of December 1, which would come before any eventual trial. Trump and his 18 co-defendants have all pleaded not guilty to the combined 41 charges they face.
The case is still in its early stages, and it is possible that McAfee could change his mind and allow the defendants to be tried together at a later date. However, for now, the ruling is a major setback for Willis and could significantly delay the case.