In a significant setback for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a federal judge has sided with former President Trump’s legal team, ruling that the 18 co-defendants in the case cannot be linked together with Trump’s prosecution.
Willis, who has faced allegations of political bias and pursuing a weak case, had sought to prosecute Trump and 18 co-defendants using a rarely used RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charge. RICO charges allow all defendants to be prosecuted as co-conspirators in a broadly encompassing manner, where they share responsibility for various charges, irrespective of their individual roles.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee also ruled against Willis’s demand for the Trump case to commence in October. Judge McAfee additionally granted motions from Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell to have their cases separated from the other co-defendants.
Judge McAfee explained his ruling by stating, “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.”
Trending Politics reported that Willis is “opposing requests from at least five co-defendants, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, to have their cases moved from state courts to federal jurisdiction.” While Meadow’s request was recently denied, his legal team is currently appealing that decision.
Interestingly, Judge McAfee noted that if an appeals court allows defendants to transfer their case to federal court, “Willis’s entire legal strategy could quickly fall apart.” He questioned the implications, stating, “Where does that leave us in the middle of a jury trial? Is double jeopardy attached? Have you now risked your entire prosecution because this case has now been removed to federal court? And we’ve sworn in a jury that has been presenting evidence against all these other co-defendants.”