Attorney says Trump’s New York conviction could be used against him in Georgia case

ATLANTA — A lawyer involved in the Georgia election interference case says former president Donald Trump’s conviction Thursday in New York could potentially impact the Georgia case in several ways.

Manny Arora, who defended Kenneth Cheseboro in the Georgia election interference case, told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that if the Georgia case goes to trial, one of the first ways Trump’s New York conviction will impact it will be in jury selection.

“If former President Trump testifies in the Georgia case, can the New York conviction be used to impeach him on the stand?” Winne asked Arora.

“It could be used to impeach him, but notice has to be given and there’s a lot of legal issues that sort of come up. But generally speaking, yes, it could be used,” Arora said.

Arora told Winne that he knows the Georgia case from the inside as part of the legal team for Chesebro.

Chesebro pled guilty in the Georgia case under the First Offender Act and got five years probation and a fine.

“After about two years, we can petition to have the case closed and everything gets expunged,” Arora said.

Arora said he sees the Georgia case as a heavier lift for prosecutors, but the charges here are more serious than in New York where the charges were lower-level, Class E felonies.


“We don’t have classes of felonies in Georgia. But our conduct is far, far more serious, in my opinion, than what happened in New York. And so, if you are convicted here, there may be a realistic chance of jail time,” Arora said.

That is unless Trump becomes a sitting president again.

“If the underlying facts in New York are found to be similar as far as trying to impact the election back in 2016, then those facts can also be used in the 2020 election interference case, which is what’s going forward in Georgia,” Arora said.

But Arora said that would depend on whether prosecutors here ask to have New York facts admitted to show a pattern, and if so, on how Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee rules.

Arora said it’s tough to compare McAfee to the New York judge since the New York trial wasn’t televised.

“I find it hard to believe that Judge McAfee would be as tolerant as the New York judge if there were all this contempt that was taking place during the course of the trial,” Arora said.

Arora said Trump’s lead counsel here, Steve Sadow, is a top-flight lawyer who may have to factor in the New York case when deciding whether the former president will take the stand if the Georgia case goes to trial because of the threat of the prosecution using the prior conviction for impeachment, which means trying to raise doubts about a witness’s credibility.


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