Judge 'very skeptical' of trial date for Trump's Georgia indictment

September 8, 2023
Robert Ayers

The judge overseeing the indictment that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has brought against former President Donald Trump and others says that he is "very skeptical" of the date Willis has chosen for the trial to begin. 

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said as much during a hearing that took place on Wednesday, according to ABC News.

The charges

Willis has charged Trump and nearly 20 other defendants with various crimes in relation to their challenge of Georgia's results in the 2020 presidential election.

Many of the defendants, including Trump, have already pled not guilty to the charges. Trump maintains that he did nothing wrong and that Willis is merely the latest Democratic official to try to weaponize the American justice system against him, particularly in an attempt to derail his 2024 presidential campaign.

Legal experts, including renowned criminal defense attorney Allan Dershowitz, have argued that Willis's case is weak at best. Dershowitz has maintained that Willis is trying to criminalize common constitutionally-protected political activities.

The trial date

To support the argument that Willis's indictment is politically motivated, many have pointed to the date that she has picked for the trial to begin, namely, Oct. 23, 2023.

Dershowitz and other experts have argued that this trial date is absurd. Dershowitz has persuasively argued that, given the nature of the case, it would be impossible for a lawyer representing one of the defendants to adequately prepare for the case by this trial date.

Accordingly, Dershowitz has said that, if he were one of the lawyers representing one of the defendants, he would just tell the judge that he refuses to represent the individual because he would not be able to competently do so. Other experts have agreed.

Nonetheless, Willis insists on the Oct. 23 trial date. Not only that, but she also claims that she could complete the trial in four months.

This, too, experts consider to be absurd given the type of charges and the number of defendants. Accordingly, experts believe the case would, in actuality, take significantly longer than four months.

The judge weighs in

As stated earlier, a hearing was held on Wednesday, and, in this hearing, Judge McAfee indicated that he is "skeptical" of Willis's selected trial date.

"It seems a bit unrealistic that we could handle all 19 in 40-something days. That’s my initial reaction," McAfee said.

McAfee did not indicate whether or not he would accept Willis's proposed trial date. Instead, he asked the prosecution to address his concerns. After that, it appears that McAfee will decide when the trial will be held.

What McAfee decides could end up telling us a lot about how this case is going to play out.

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