Legal experts believe jury selection will be difficult in Trump's Georgia case

 March 17, 2024

Judge Scott McAfee ruled late last week that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can continue to prosecute former President Donald Trump provided that her lover Nathan Wade leaves the case.

Fox News noted that while Wade has since stepped down, some legal experts believe a significant number of potential jurors are likely to be dismissed. 

Former federal prosecutor believes jury selection will be a long process

They include John Malcolm, a former assistant U.S. attorney who currently serves as vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government.

He told Fox News that Willis' actions "will certainly prolong the process of picking a jury that does not have a preconceived opinion about what the outcome ought to be or how fair the process has been to the defendants."

"Judge McAfee said in his order that, 'Whether this case ends in convictions, acquittals or something in between, the result should be one that instills confidence in the process,'"  he added.

Jim Trusty previously served as a former federal prosecutor who also represented Trump, and he offered a similar assessment.

Defense attorney: Jury selection "a huge challenge" in Trump cases

"Having a sordid scandal play out in public hearings — and making inflammatory comments in church — will not make jury selection any easier," Trusty said, referring to remarks Willis made last year in which she blamed her problems on racism.

Trusty went on to stress the case's political dimension, saying, "Jury selection is already a huge challenge in cases involving President Trump."

John Shu, is an attorney who worked in the administrations of  Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, and he also acknowledged the political case's political nature.

"The prosecution of former President Donald Trump was already high profile," Shu pointed out. "Adding the fallout of Fani Willis' illicit affair and scolding by the Fulton County judge only complicates jury selection."

Judge dismisses six charges against Trump

In addition to allowing Willis to continue as prosecutor, Judge McAfee also ruled last week that six of Trump's charges are to be dismissed.

"The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance. However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned opinion, fatal," Fox News quoted McAfee as writing.

"As written, these six counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited," he continued.

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