All Defendants in Georgia Election RICO Case Surrender

All 19 total defendants charged with racketeering over challenging Georgia’s 2020 election results have surrendered before the noon Aug. 25 deadline given by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis before the defendants would have otherwise faced arrest.

After former President Donald Trump made history with a highly televised surrender in Fulton County, Georgia, on Thursday evening, five more of his co-defendants surrendered themselves at the jail overnight.

Former Justice Department (DOJ) official Jeffrey Clark, GOP strategist and former Trump campaign official Michael Roman, Georgia state senator Shawn Still, 2020 election official Misty Hampton, and attorney Robert Cheeley turned themselves in separately after midnight Friday and were released on bond.

NTD Photo
Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark poses for his booking photo at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Aug. 25, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images)

Trevian Kutti, former publicist for Kanye West, and Stephen Lee, a pastor from Illinois, surrendered on Friday shortly before the deadline.

Defendants

Mr. Lee was charged with five counts, and Ms. Kutti three counts. They are both accused of attempting to influence witnesses when they, together with co-defendant Harrison Floyd, sought out and spoke with an election worker, Ruby Freeman.  They were both released on bond set at $75,000.

Mr. Roman was the first to surrender early Friday, and released on $50,000 bond shortly afterward. He was charged with seven counts, including conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer and conspiracy to commit forgery, as he participated in writing documents used by the alternate electors in Georgia and helped organize the alternate slate of electors. The indictment alleges his actions were taken with “the intent to defraud … contrary to the laws of said State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.”

Mr. Still surrendered afterward, and was released on a $10,000 signature bond. He was charged with seven counts, including impersonating a public officer as he was one of the alternate electors in Georgia. The indictment names Mr. Still along with alternate electors David Shafer and Cathy Latham, but 13 other alleged co-conspirators are left unnamed and not charged. The indictment alleges that the ballots were cast “with the intent to mislead” officials in the state and federal government.

Then Mr. Clark surrendered, and was released on bond set at $100,000. He was charged with two counts, including racketeering and “criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings.” He issued a DOJ statement which included the quote that the DOJ had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.” The indictment alleges he “knowingly and willfully” made false statements in doing so, and having the statement signed by DOJ officials and delivered to Georgia state officials was “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”

Mr. Clark had, prior to surrendering, filed a notice of removal to move his case to federal court. A judge denied an emergency motion that he may avoid arrest until the pending removal had been decided.

Ms. Hampton, also known as Emily Misty Hayes, surrendered and was released on $10,000 signature bond. She was charged with seven counts, including “conspiracy to commit election fraud” and “conspiracy to defraud the state.” Ms. Hampton is accused of taking a voting machine and examining voter data without authorization.

Mr. Cheeley surrendered around 3 a.m. and was released on $50,000 bond.  He was charged with 10 counts, including alleged perjury and false statements and writing. Mr. Cheeley had emailed and called other attorneys representing President Trump, according to the indictment, which allegedly furthered a conspiracy. He and the rest of the legal team had explored different avenues to challenge the 2020 elections, including the feasibility of using an alternate slate of electors, which the indictment claims they knew President Trump had lost.

Mr. Floyd is the only one who did not pre-negotiate bond, according to jail records, and reportedly remains the only defendant detained.

Trial Schedule

Ms. Willis had originally proposed a March 4, 2024, trial start date, but the 19 defendants may be proceeding with separate trial schedules.

On Aug. 23, defendant Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney, filed a demand for a speedy trial, to which Ms. Willis responded by proposing beginning trial with all 19 defendants together in just two months, on Oct. 23.

“Mr. Chesebro will be prepared to move forward with trial for whatever date the Court ultimately sets,” Scott Grubman, attorney for Mr. Chesebro, told The Epoch Times, after Ms. Willis’s proposal.

A judge ruled that Mr. Chesebro’s trial would begin on Nov. 3, and proposed a timeline that he said would not apply to any other defendant.

“The scheduling will occur on an expedited timeline to meet the November 3, 2023 deadline to begin trial,” he wrote, adding a Sept. 6 arraignment, Sept. 20 discovery deadline, and Sept. 27 motions deadline. A pretrial conference for Mr. Chesebro will be held on Sept. 29.

President Trump’s lawyers had written a response opposing the Oct. 23 trial date, and notified the court it would be formally filing to sever the former president’s case from Mr. Chesebro’s. Other defendants are expected to do the same.

“President Trump also alerts the Court that he will be filing a timely motion to sever his case from that of co-defendant Chesebro, who has filed a demand for speedy trial, or any other co-defendant who files such a demand,” wrote attorney Steven Sadow.

From The Epoch Times

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