September 04, 2023: Trump co-defendants request judge to split apart Georgia election interference case and have separate trials.
The demand in Fulton County Superior Court came less than two hours after Trump claimed not blameworthy to 13 criminal counts in the sprawling case accusing him of trying to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in Georgia’s 2020 election.
Earlier Thursday, Trump also waived his right to appear at his arraignment scheduled for following week.
Defense attorney Steven Sadow argued in the new filing that Trump will need more time to prepare if his trial begins October 23, the date set for co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro. Only Chesebro has had a trial date set so far.
Sadow wrote that there are “substantial adverse procedural and substantive ‘effects’ President Trump would endure” if he is held to the same schedule.
“Respectfully, requiring less than two months preparation time to defend a 98-page indictment, charging 19 defendants with 41 various charges including a RICO conspiracy charge with 161 Overt Acts, Solicitation of Violation of Oath by Public Officer, False Statements and Writings, Forgery, Influencing Witnesses, Computer Crimes, Conspiracy to Defraud the State, and other offenses would violate President Trump’s federal and state constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law,” Sadow wrote.
The lawyer also flagged his potential scheduling conflict: He is set to participate in another trial starting in late September in federal court in Florida. That trial is expected to last up to three weeks, Sadow wrote.
Fani Willis, the Atlanta district attorney prosecuting the case against Trump, has asked a judge to rule that all defendants granted speedy trials must be tried together.
Trump has been charged with 91 counts in four criminal cases as he campaigned for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. His lawyers in his two federal cases tried to push off his trial until after the November 2024 election. Judges in both cases rejected those efforts.