If Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee agrees, that means Willis’ sprawling racketeering case against Trump and 14 others would go to trial three weeks after the Republican Party selects its nominee for president at its convention in Milwaukee. Trump has held a demanding lead in the polls since he announced his third run for the presidency.
If granted, the trial would take place nearly a year after Willis first indicted Trump and his allies for allegedly conspiring to overturn Joe Biden’s win in Georgia.
Trump’s top Atlanta attorney, Steve Sadow, on Friday asked McAfee for “the opportunity to present oral argument in opposition to the motion at a hearing to be held at a time convenient to the court.”
Trump is scheduled to appear in a Washington, D.C., courtroom in early March for his federal election subversion trial. His Manhattan case involving alleged hush money payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels is scheduled for trial in late March. Trump’s federal classified documents trial has been scheduled for May 2024 in Florida, but the judge in that case recently indicated the timeline is likely to slip.
Willis had initially requested that the Fulton trial for Trump and his co-defendants begin in March 2024. But that timeline changed when two defendants, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, demanded speedy trials. Both Powell and Chesebro have since cut plea deals with prosecutors, as have two other co-defendants.
During an appearance at a Washington Post Live event this week, Willis said she believed the trial would take “many months.”
“I don’t expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” she estimated, adding that she expected the verdict would be appealed.
Prosecutors previously said they had upwards of 150 witnesses they planned to call for the case. Jury selection is expected to take months.
The DA’s office also on Friday asked that McAfee keep the remaining 15 defendants together as one group for now and not entertain any so-called “severance” motions, which would divide the defendants into groups for multiple trials, until after a proposed June 21, 2024 deadline for final plea deals.
“The RICO conspiracy charge ensures any trial would share the same evidence and witnesses,” prosecutors wrote. “In a case where the same witnesses, the same evidence and the same charges would be used against all defendants — thus affecting judicial economy in the use of physical facilities and the time of witnesses, jurors, and court personnel — the trial court must consider these efficiencies against the possible conflicting interests of joint or multiple defendants.”
At the Washington Post event, Willis said the upcoming presidential election season did not factor into the timing of the case.
“What goes in the calculus is: this is the law; these are the facts,” she said. “And if those facts show you violated the law, then charges are brought.”
Staff writer Tia Mitchell contributed to this article.