The written plea was filed Thursday by Steve Sadow, an Atlanta prison protection legal professional who was tapped Aug. 24 to guide the previous president’s Georgia-based authorized staff. The submitting means Trump gained’t return to Atlanta on Wednesday, the place Fulton County Superior Courtroom Choose Scott McAfee, who’s overseeing the proceedings, has scheduled a collection of arraignment hearings for Trump and the 18 co-defendants within the sprawling prison racketeering case.
Within the submitting, titled “President Trump’s entry of plea of not responsible and enter of waiver of look at arraignment,” the previous president acknowledged that he was “freely and voluntarily” waiving his proper to be current at his arraignment and have his expenses learn to him in open court docket.
Trump is dealing with 13 counts within the Georgia case, together with violating the state’s racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery within the first diploma and conspiring to file false paperwork. The previous president has denied any wrongdoing and has condemned the investigation, led by Fulton County District Lawyer Fani T. Willis (D), as a “political witch hunt.”
Trump surrendered final week on the Fulton County Jail, a infamous Atlanta lockup the place he was booked and shortly launched on a $200,000 bond that features restrictions on his conduct, together with provisions that bar him from intimidating witnesses or fellow co-defendants or making any “direct or oblique risk of any nature towards the neighborhood.”
Just like the 18 others indicted within the case, Trump was fingerprinted and photographed, ensuing within the first mug shot of a former American president. With Thursday’s submitting, Trump turned the fourth defendant to plead not responsible.
Trump’s legal professional has signaled he’ll vigorously problem the costs towards his shopper, who he has stated ought to have by no means been charged within the case. Sadow has stated he’ll file a movement to dismiss the costs and transfer to sever Trump’s case from different co-defendants, together with former Trump marketing campaign legal professional Kenneth Chesebro, who’re searching for a speedy trial within the matter.
Final week, McAfee accepted an Oct. 23 trial date for Chesebro, although Willis has argued she desires to attempt all 19 defendants, together with Trump, on that date.
Trump can also be anticipated to observe his former White Home chief of employees Mark Meadows in searching for to maneuver his case from state to federal court docket. Meadows spent greater than 4 hours testifying on Monday earlier than U.S. District Courtroom Choose Steve C. Jones, who’s contemplating Meadows’ petition to maneuver his case to federal court docket, the place he’ll then search to dismiss expenses.
In his testimony, Meadows sought to painting himself as Trump’s gatekeeper and depicted his involvement in efforts to query Joe Biden’s authentic victory in Georgia as a part of his duties as Trump’s high White Home aide and senior adviser. His attorneys have argued that ought to qualify his case for federal elimination since they are saying he was performing below the “coloration” of his federal place.
However prosecutors have argued Meadows’ post-election efforts, together with a go to to a suburban Atlanta poll processing heart and arranging the now-infamous Jan. 2, 2021, telephone name between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), violated the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits authorities officers from utilizing their official roles to affect an election. They are saying Meadows noticed “no distinction” between his White Home work and the Trump marketing campaign and have pressed Jones to disclaim Meadows’ petition — an final result which may have sweeping impact on different present and future elimination requests within the case, together with Trump’s anticipated petition.
Gardner reported from Washington.