Former President Donald Trump will not face trial in Georgia in October.
Politico reports that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said as much in a ruling that he issued on Thursday.
This regards the criminal case that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has brought against Trump and some 18 other individuals. Willis claims that Trump and the others committed various crimes when they attempted to challenge Georgia's results in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump has pled not guilty, as has all of the other defendants. Trump maintains that his efforts to challenge the election results were not only constitutionally protected but that they have been common practices for some time. Trump also argues that Willis is politically motivated, that she is prosecuting Trump in order to derail his 2024 campaign.
Willis has been seeking two things: a speedy trial and the ability to try all 19 defendants at once.
Legal experts have called this absurd considering the number of defendants and the amount of documentary evidence involved. Accordingly, legal experts have made it clear that it is not really possible to have both a speedy trial and a fair trial at the same time in this case. It would only be possible, they say, if constitutional corners were to be cut.
This is not to mention how complex it is to try 19 people at the same time in a court of law.
To give a brief example of this complexity, two of the co-defendants - Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro - have requested a speedy trial, while the other 17 have not.
What this shows is that the different defendants will have different desires, and this, in itself, will slow things down.
On Thursday, McAfee ruled that Powell and Chesebro will be tried separately from the other 17 co-defendants, including Trump. In fact, McAfee said splitting the case up like this is an "absolute necessity" given the complexity of the case.
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
McAfee, elsewhere, suggested that even more than two trials may be required.
In addition to this, McAfee also set the deadline for filing pretrial motions, for defendants other than Chesebro and Powell, as Dec. 1, 2023. What this means is that Trump will not be tried until at least December, which is contrary to the desires of Willis, who wanted to try Trump and everyone else at the same time in October.
The judge, however, did not give any hint as to when Trump's trial will take place.