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Judge Denies Request to Limit Co-Defendants’ Speedy Trial Rights in Trump Case

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In a recent legal development, a Fulton County judge has denied District Attorney Fani Willis’ request to inform former President Donald Trump’s co-defendants not to invoke their speedy trial rights. This decision comes in the wake of the indictment of Trump and 18 co-defendants on 41 RICO charges related to the 2020 election. While all defendants are entitled to a speedy trial, Willis aims to consolidate all 19 defendants’ cases into the same courtroom in October 2023. Trump, however, has requested that his case be moved to federal court for trial at a later date in 2024, setting the stage for a legal battle.

The situation took a twist when two co-defendants, both Trump attorneys, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, asked for speedy trials scheduled for next month. In response, Willis filed a motion urging the judge to inform these co-defendants that invoking their speedy trial rights would not be in their best interest. However, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has rejected Willis’ request.

In his response, Judge McAfee highlighted the potential conflicts that could arise if the deadlines associated with these cases were imposed, as they would directly contradict the court’s Standing Case Management Order and the case-specific scheduling order that is routinely entered. This decision leaves the co-defendants with their right to a speedy trial intact.

Legal experts and Atlanta area attorneys have noted that Willis’ opposition to the co-defendants’ speedy trial rights may be rooted in a desire to prevent providing a “preview” of the case, which could potentially benefit Trump’s defense if his case is eventually moved to federal court. This legal tug-of-war will undoubtedly continue to unfold as the legal proceedings progress.

Written by
Derek Chan – Editor

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