Trump co-defendants Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell denied separate trials

September 7, 2023

Former President Donald Trump's criminal prosecution in Georgia took a new turn this week after a judge turned down a motion from one of the former president's co-defendants. 

According to the Washington Examiner, attorney Kenneth Chesebro and fellow attorney Sidney Powell wish to be tried separately from one another.

Both Chesebro and Powell faces charges under RICO Act

Chesebro and Powell were part of the legal team that helped Trump challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and the two are scheduled to be tried on October 23.

The Examiner noted that Powell faces seven charges from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and is also accused of being in contact with those who breached voting machines in Coffee County.

What's more, both Powell and Chesebro along with 17 other defendants are being charged under Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) Act.

However, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee refused the request from Chesebro and Powell for a separate trials following a 90-minute hearing.

Concern raised that two trials could "inconvenience" jurors

"Based on what’s been presented today, I am not finding the severance for Mr. Cheseboro or Powell is necessary to achieve a fair determination of the guilt or innocence for either defendant in this case," the Examiner quoted McAfee as saying.

McAfee went on to argue that having two parallel trials would "inconvenience" jurors and cause needless difficulties with the court calendar.

The Examiner observed that while it is not yet known when the other defendants will go on trial, McAfee did suggest that having proceedings start against all 17 individuals in October could be  "a bit unrealistic."

Judge refuses Mark Meadows' request to have case heard in federal court

Chesebro and Powell are not the only Georgia defendants to file motions, as last month former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sought to have his case moved to federal court.

Yet Fox News reported on August 24 that Northern District of Georgia Judge Steve Jones shot down Meadows' request, maintaining that his alleged behavior does not amount to criminal behavior.

"Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se: arranging Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on the President’s behalf, visiting a state government building, and setting up a phone call for the President," Jones' opinion read.

"One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things," the judge went on to add.

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