Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has ruled that the 2020 election fraud case against Former President Donald Trump and 18 other co-defendants will be split into at least two trials. 

McAfee’s decision to split the trial means that Trump will not be tried with his attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, both of whom requested “speedy trials.” Their cases will start in October.

The judge noted that the Fulton County courthouse isn’t equipped to manage a trial with 19 defendants, which would create “chaos” when it comes to choosing a jury.

“The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff’s deputies, court personnel, and the State’s prosecutorial team. Relocating to another larger venue raises security concerns that cannot be rapidly addressed,” wrote McAfee.

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Judge McAfee mentioned that five of the defendants are asking to take their cases to the federal court, further complicating the situation if it is granted.

“How a grant of removal midtrial would impact this case, particularly on the issue of double jeopardy… and overlooking of wrongly adjudicating these legal uncertainties risks automatic acquittal,” said McAfee.

A deadline has been set to December 1 for the defendants, excluding Chesebro and Powell who have an accelerated schedule, to request a speedy trial. Although there is no scheduled trial date for Trump, it is likely that it won’t be until late 2024.

There is a probability that the case will need to be split into more than two parts. Judge McAfee said that he would be looking for another state judge if the dates interfered with one another.  

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