Trump moves to dismiss two counts in Fulton election indictment

Former President Donald Trump leaves Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in New York. (Curtis Means/ via AP, Pool)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Former President Donald Trump leaves Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in New York. (Curtis Means/ via AP, Pool)

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss two more felony counts against him in the Fulton County election interference case.

Last August, a grand jury indicted Trump for racketeering and 12 other felonies for allegedly overseeing a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. Last month, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee in March struck down three felony counts against Trump, saying they lacked sufficient detail.

Now, Trump attorneys Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little want McAfee to dismiss two other counts.

One of the counts accuses Trump and other co-defendants of conspiring to file a false document in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. This filing included a certificate from state GOP officials who cast electoral college votes for Trump in December 2020 after Joe Biden had been officially declared the winner in Georgia. The other count accuses Trump and a co-defendant, attorney John Eastman, of filing a federal lawsuit in Atlanta that had a number of “materially false statements,” such as claiming at least 66,247 underage people, 2,506 felons and 10,315 dead people cast illegal votes.

In their motion, Sadow and Little cite an 1890 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to buttress their claims. That case involved Wilson Loney, who had been charged in Virginia state court with committing perjury while testifying about a contested U.S. House of Representatives election. Loney was released after the Supreme Court ruled he could only be prosecuted in federal court.

Sadow and Little said the same applies to the two charges filed against Trump.

“(B)ecause the conduct charged in both counts actually and directly impacts the judiciary of the United States, it contravenes federal, not state, criminal law,” the motion said. “Thus, it cannot be prosecuted in state court under a state criminal statute.”

If McAfee rules in Trump’s favor, the former president would still be facing a charge of racketeering and seven other felonies. Such a decision would also strike similar counts against Eastman, GOP political operative Michael Roman and lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Ray Smith and Bob Cheeley.

It could also apply to three co-defendants who cast electoral college votes for Trump: former state GOP chair David Shafer, state Sen. Shawn Still and former Coffee County GOP Chair Cathleen Latham. They are charged with filing a false certificate of their vote to the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

The motion by Sadow and Little in the Fulton case was filed while Trump is in New York this week in a criminal fraud trial involving hush money he allegedly paid to a former porn star. Lawyers for the former president will also argue Thursday before the U.S. Supreme Court that the former president cannot be charged in the federal election subversion case because Trump has absolute immunity.

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