Will Donald Trump ever see the inside of a Fulton County courtroom?

Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell trials will go a long way toward deciding that, metro Atlanta attorney says.
Will Donald Trump ever see the inside of a Fulton County courtroom?
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 9:22 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:22 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The chances of the nation’s 45th president ever formally standing trial in Fulton County is about 50-50, according to a former metro Atlanta public defender and assistant district attorney.

“They’ve got an indictment; he can be summoned to court and he can be put on trial, but a lot of de-conflictions have to happen,” said Chandelle Summer, a former Fulton County public defender and assistant Hall County district attorney who now practices privately in Gainesville, Georgia. “You have so many duplicitous indictments such as the ones in Washington, D.C., as well as in Fulton County; you have a presidential election coming up.

“There are so many things that could derail this process, but at the same time, they seem to be moving full steam ahead.”

Former president Donald Trump and 18 others are charged with participating in an alleged criminal conspiracy designed to overturn Georgia’s lawful 2020 presidential election results. The massive, racketeering-related indictment was announced last month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Summer said the upcoming trials of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell could set the tone over the coming weeks.

“If Chesebro and Powell are acquitted, that could take the wind out of the DA’s sails,” Summer said. “If they’re convicted, that will increase the momentum to try all of the other co-defendants.”

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has ruled that attorneys for Powell and Chesebro can question the grand jurors who handed down the historic indictments.

Both Powell and Chesebro have filed motions to have a speedy trial, one that is set to begin on Oct. 23.

Willis had been seeking to try all of the co-defendants in one trial, an effort that was brought to a screeching halt last week when McAfee agreed to allow Powell and Chesebro to be tried separately from the others named in Willis’ indictment.

Chesebro and Powell are both former Trump campaign attorneys.

Summer also wants to see if any of the other co-defendants will flip and make deals with the prosecution.

Steven Sadow, Trump’s lead Georgia attorney, “is a good person to have on board to keep a cohesive team of lawyers together.”

Trump himself has asked the court to dismiss several criminal charges against him in the Georgia 2020 election interference case. Sadow has filed the motions, which seem to indicate Trump wants to adopt the legal arguments his racketeering co-defendants Rudy Giuliani, Chesebro and Ray Smith have already made in court filings.

Powell and Chesebro are currently set to go on trial in Fulton County on Oct. 23. So far, they have been the only two of the 19 defendants to request a speedy trial. Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the case, decided on Thursday that Trump and his other 16 co-defendants will be tried together at a later date that has yet to be determined.

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