Could Donald Trump’s Georgia case be moved to federal court? He has that right

ATLANTA — Political and legal experts told Channel 2 Action News that former President Donald Trump’s attorneys will likely try to have the state criminal case moved to federal court.

As a former president, he has the right to make the request.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced a sweeping indictment Monday against Trump for racketeering and other alleged crimes.

Right now, any hearings and trials will take place in Fulton County Superior Court, but that could change, and soon.

“100%,” Georgia State University law professor Clark Cunningham told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot. “That’s the first thing he’s going to do.”

Cunningham isn’t the only one who believes Trump’s lawyers will make an immediate move to have the entire case transferred to federal court, which Cunningham said he can do.


“As a former president, because the acts for which he would be prosecuted took place while he was still president, federal law would allow him to ask for his trial to be moved to federal court, called removal,” Cunningham said.

This could be attractive to Trump since in all likelihood, he could find a friendlier jury pool than one pulled from Fulton County, a county and Congressional district he’s insulted numerous times over the years.

Plus, he might draw a federal judge that he appointed.

If Trump’s trial were moved, Cunningham believes the trial for all 18 of Trump’s co-defendants would move to federal court, too.

Willis could and would probably fight the move, prompting a series of appeals through the federal system, all before the criminal trial could even begin.

“If the district attorney wants to fight that, so it’s called, that’s removal, you ask for a remand. That fight will last for months and could easily go up to the U.S. Supreme Court and delay everything,” Cunningham said.

Elliot has been checking the federal case tracking website and hasn’t seen anything filed yet.

There was no response from Trump’s local attorneys on Tuesday.

Interestingly enough, we know that if Trump was reelected president, he could not pardon himself from state charges.

Even if the case were moved to federal court, Cunningham still doesn’t believe he could pardon himself.


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