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Updated Sep 6, 2023, 2:45pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Georgia trial with Trump and 18 others could take 4 months and have 150 witnesses: Prosecutor

Security barriers at the Fulton County courthouse.
REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
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Georgia prosecutors estimated that the trial of Donald Trump along with his 18 co-defendants in Georgia would take four months and include testimony from more than 150 state witnesses. (The estimate didn’t include time needed for jury selection.)

But the judge overseeing the case said he remains “very skeptical” about prosecutors’ arguments that all 19 defendants in the sweeping racketeering case related to the 2020 election should be tried together this fall.

On Wednesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said two of the defendants, ex-Trump lawyers Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, would be tried together on Oct. 23, since they both demanded speedy trials.

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McAfee added that he would still be willing to consider prosecutors’ arguments about trying all 19 together, despite his skepticism.

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In the first motions hearing since Trump was indicted in Georgia, lawyers for Chesebro and Powell urged the judge to separate their cases from one another and the other defendants.

Chesebro’s attorney Scott Grubman argued that his client’s charges are fundamentally different from Powell’s, even though they were both accused as part of the same racketeering scheme.

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“These are totally separate cases,” Grubman said.

Powell’s attorney Brian Rafferty also said that any of his arguments during a trial would be “washed away” by the details of Chesebro’s cases.

In response, Deputy District Attorney Will Wooten argued that under Georgia’s racketeering law, “it doesn’t matter” whether defendants’ charges are similar. “Evidence against one is evidence against all.”

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All 19 defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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