Judge McAfee Dismisses 6 Charges in Trump Election Case

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis brought 41 counts or charges in an indictment against former President Donald Trump and 14 codefendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. “The indictment originally charged 19 defendants, four of whom have since taken plea bargains. All were charged with violating Georgia’s RICO Act, as well as 40 additional counts.”

On March 13, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee issued a ruling that dismissed several of those charges. Judge McAfee struck (dismissed) “charges 2, 5, 6, 23, 28, and 38 from the indictment. These counts are related to soliciting officials to violate oaths of office, including via a phone call President Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.”

As reported, “The counts alleged the defendants solicited members of the Georgia Senate, Georgia House, Georgia House Speaker, and Mr. Raffensperger to violate oaths of office in trying to certify alternate electors or “influence the certified election returns.” Judge McAfee stated in his opinion: “The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal.” Three of the quashed (dismissed) charges apply to President Trump, “throwing out counts related to a phone call he made to the Georgia Secretary of State.”

Many charges against each of the defendants remain: “the RICO charge for Mr. Meadows, 10 counts for President Trump, 11 counts for Mr. Giuliani, 10 counts for Mr. Smith, nine counts for Mr. Cheeley, and eight counts for Mr. Eastman.”

The judge’s ruling is rightly viewed as being technical from a legal perspective. For example, Judge McAfee ruled that “these pleading deficiencies do not apply to the corresponding acts” listed in the RICO charge as part of an alleged conspiracy, “but to stand as separate counts they needed to meet a higher statutory standard.” Judge McAfee added, “A defendant can be found guilty of conspiracy even after acquittal of any overt acts alleged.”

D & B Staff

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