Trump’s attorney says election inference case should be thrown out over 1st Amendment protections

ATLANTA — An attorney for former President Donald Trump was back in court again Thursday arguing that the former president’s criminal charges should be thrown out.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee did not make a ruling yet, but he did hear compelling arguments from both sides.

This was also the first hearing since McAfee ruled that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could remain on this case despite her romantic relationship with former special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Trump’s attorney Steve Sadow argued that the case should be dismissed because the comments he made are protected by the First Amendment.

“I don’t think there’s any question that says statements, comment, speech, expressive conduct that deals with campaigning or elections has always been found to be at the zenith of protected speech,” Sadow said. “When you look at the allegations against President Trump, all of the allegations — all of the allegations — involved expressive conduct or speech.”


But Fulton County prosecutors pushed back arguing that Trump’s statements were part of a conspiracy to illegally overturn his election loss.

“It’s not that the defendant has been hauled into a courtroom because the prosecution doesn’t like what he said,” Donald Wakeford with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said. “What he is not allowed to do is employ his speech and his expression and his statements as part of a criminal conspiracy, to violate Georgia’s RICO, to impersonate public officers to file false documents, and to make false statements to the government.”

McAfee also heard arguments from defense attorney Craig Gillen who is representing David Shafer, the former chair of the Georgia Republican Party, who is accused of acting as a fake elector.

McAfee did not say how long it would take for him to rule on these motions. He also hasn’t announced a start date for the trial.


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