Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Georgia judge rejects Trump bid to dismiss election interference charges on free speech grounds

By 37ci3 Apr4,2024


A Georgia judge on Thursday rejected a bid by former President Donald Trump and his allies in the state. election interference case to dismiss the charges on First Amendment grounds.

A Fulton County Superior Court judge in a 14-page ruling Scott McAfee They said their right to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election does not protect them from charges brought by District Attorney Fannie Willis’ office.

“The Court finds that these important constitutional protections do not reach the State’s alleged acts and statements,” McAfee wrote, and their motions to dismiss “are therefore denied.”

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee
Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee on March 28 in Atlanta.Dennis Byron / AFP – Getty Images

The defendants, including Trump and his former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, argued that the DA’s prosecution “violated the statute.” First Amendment protections political speech and action, freedom of association, and the right to petition Congress apply to their alleged conduct and further argue that the charges are overbroad.”

However, McAfee found that “Defendants’ statements and statements were made in furtherance of criminal activity and constitute knowingly and knowingly false statements about matters within the jurisdiction of a government agency that threaten to defraud and harm the government.”

“President Trump and the other defendants respectfully disagree with Judge McAfee’s order and will continue to evaluate their options regarding their First Amendment challenges,” Trump’s attorney Steve Sadow said in a statement.

McAfee noted in his decision that during oral argument, “Defendants argued that the speech at issue, even if false, was political and could not be prosecuted solely for fraud.”

The judge said that prosecutors did not do so in this case and addressed the allegations that the defendants attempted to attract “surrogate” presidential voters to the attestation, and knowingly made false claims in state proceedings and in court. State election won by Joe Biden.

“The State alleged more than mere statements of a political nature. Rather, the indictment charges the defendants with knowingly and knowingly making false statements to public officials, and knowingly and knowingly submitting documents containing false statements and misrepresentations within the jurisdiction of state offices and agencies.”, – the judge wrote.

Trump and 14 other defendants in the racketeering lawsuit he pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.





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