Georgia indictment of Trump could be dropped unless Jack Smith complies with evidence discovery

December 2, 2023

The indictment of former President Donald Trump brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is in serious danger of being dismissed.

Trump's attorney Steven Sadow argued on Friday that if Trump's legal team isn't able to obtain evidence from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s federal election-subversion case, which overlaps with Willis's case, Willis's indictment will need to be dismissed.

Sadow cited a 1981 Georgia Court of Appeals opinion which established a precedent enabling a defendant to request federal documents relevant to their case.

If the defendant is unable to obtain those documents there are a couple of options, neither of which are good for Democrats hoping to see Trump convicted.

Should Smith refuse to release relevant information to Trump's team, the Georgia trial would need to be delayed until the conclusion of Smith's indictment or the Georgia trial would need to be dismissed outright.

Checkmate

Sadow stated in Friday's arguments that, "I would issue a subpoena to both counsel for President Trump in D.C., as well as the Special Counsel’s office, for disclosure of what I want. All I would ask for is a list of their discovery, so that we’re able to determine what they have. And if they were to fight that — which, of course, the Justice Department might choose to do — it would come either before your honor for a determination or it would come, if they wanted to remove it, strangely enough, they could remove it to federal court."

Jack Smith's team has been absolutely adamant about keeping as much information from Trump's legal team as possible which means that they would likely fight the request for further documents.

Smith doesn't want to compromise his own indictment but that will likely doom Willis's indictment if he chooses to fight Trump's requests.

Sadow pointed out that either Smith complies with the requests or the Georgia indictment will be dismissed or postponed.

Postponement virtually ensures Willis will fail as the postponement would last until Smith's case was concluded.

That case isn't wrapping up anytime soon which means that it might simply be too late for Willis's indictment pending the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. Should Trump win in 2024, he wouldn't be tried until 2029.

Playing for time

Trump's legal team is playing the long game and they have been wildly successful so far. Complex cases like these can take years but the 2024 presidential election is less than a year away.

Should Trump win in 2024, and the odds have steadily shifted in his favor, neither Smith nor Willis will have the capability to convict Trump.

Worse yet, even if they did obtain a conviction before the election, Trump could pardon himself in the event of victory in November. Time is not on Democrats side and it is becoming increasingly clear that they have failed.

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