Judge dismisses some charges against Donald Trump in Georgia election interference case

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Fulton County judge has struck down some charges against former President Donald Trump and 14 co-defendants in the election interference case.

Trump and his co-defendants pled not guilty last August in a sweeping RICO indictment that alleges that the former president and his co-defendants conspired to overturn current President Joe Biden’s election win in Georgia in 2020.

On Wednesday, Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee ruled that six of the charges in the indictment be quashed, but many of the other charges remain. McAfee said the six counts, which were all related to the charges of Solicitation of Violation of Oath by Public Office, lack sufficient detail.

Trump and his co-defendants had filed to dismiss the counts because they argued they were legally deficient, making the ruling a win for the former president.

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The counts involved Trump, Rudy Giuliani, lawyer John Eastman, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and attorneys Ray Smith and Bob Cheely.

Many of those specific counts allege that the men illegally asked Georgia election officials to convene a special legislative session and appoint pro-Trump electors.

Three of the dismissed counts directly name Trump and allege that the former president solicited the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “unlawfully influence the certified election returns” and requested that Raffensperger decertify the election in an infamous phone call in which Trump asked Raffensperger to find him more votes.


“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during that call.

One count alleges that Trump solicited Georgia’s Speaker of the House to violate his oath of office.

All of the other charges stand, including racketeering. McAfee wrote that prosecutors could seek a new indictment on the charges that were dismissed.

Steve Sadow, counsel for Trump, issued a statement to Channel 2 Action News, writing:

“The Court made the correct legal decision to grant the special demurrers and quash important counts of the indictment brought by DA Fani Willis. The counts dismissed against President Trump are 5, 28 and 38, which falsely claimed that he solicited GA public officials to violate their oath of office. The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts. The entire prosecution of President Trump is political, constitutes election interference, and should be dismissed.”

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Channel 2′s Michael Seiden also got a statement from Don Samuel, who represents defendant Ray Smith. He sent a statement saying: “We consider this the first step in the ultimate exoneration of Ray Smith on all counts.”

Legal experts whom Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke to said Wednesday’s ruling isn’t much of a victory for Trump and his allies, and none of what happened affects the rest of the case.

“This is not a Trump victory,” Georgia State University constitutional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis said. “Ultimately, the DA has the opportunity to either appeal or to go back to the grand jury and just button up her theory of constitutional law and present it to the grand jury and get an indictment.”

Channel 2 Washington Bureau reporter Samantha Manning went to Capitol Hill following McAfee’s ruling to get reaction from lawmakers and any potential impact it could have on the 2024 election.

Trump has said all along that he feels he was unfairly targeted.

Democrats in Congress told Manning that they aren’t too worried about the ruling and that this is just part of the legal process playing out.

Shortly after the judge issued his ruling, Trump’s campaign team sent out emails calling the criminal cases against the former president witch hunts and are using the ruling to convince his supporters to donate even more to help him win reelection.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to D.A. Fani Willis’ office for comment. The D.A.’s office said they can’t comment on the case.

We are also still waiting on McAfee’s decision on whether Willis will be allowed to continue prosecuting this case.


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