Judge dismisses some counts against Trump in Fani Willis election interference case

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A Fulton County judge has quashed six counts in the Georgia election interference case against former President Trump and his 18 co-defendants. 

Judge Scott McAfee said in an order Wednesday that the state failed to allege sufficient detail for six counts of “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer.” 

“The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance. However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned opinion, fatal,” McAfee wrote. 

“As written, these six counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited,” the judge continued. 

JUDGE IN TRUMP’S GEORGIA CASE FACES ELECTIO CHALLENGE FROM CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY

Judge Scott McAfee at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Feb. 15. McAfee quashed six counts in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants. (Alyssa Pointer, Getty Images)

“They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently, as the Defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.”  

Georgia state law prohibits any public officer from willfully and intentionally violating the terms of his or her oath as prescribed by law. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis alleged that Trump and six of his co-defendants illegally attempted to persuade numerous state officials to violate their oaths in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

The indictment refers to alleged requests made to members of the Georgia legislature to unlawfully appoint alternative presidential electors and alleged efforts by Trump and his then-chief of staff Mark Meadows to solicit Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to decertify the election. 

NATHAN WADE’S PHONE DATA SHOWS HE MADE MIDNIGHT TRIPS TO FANI WILLIS’ CONDO BEFORE HE WAS HIRED: ATTORNEY

Trump at cpac

Former President Trump after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Multiple defendants challenged the counts on grounds that Willis did not detail the exact terms of the oaths that were alleged to have been violated. 

McAfee said the indictment should have alleged an underlying felony solicited by the defendants. 

“In other words, a naked charge of solicitation cannot survive unless accompanied by additional elements establishing the solicited felony,” the judge wrote.

Willis did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

“The Court made the correct legal decision to grant the special demurrers and quash important counts of the indictment brought by DA Fani Willis,” said Trump attorney Steve Sadow. “The counts dismissed against President Trump are 5, 28 and 38, which falsely claimed that he solicited GA public officials to violate their oath of office.”

“The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts,” Sadow added. “The entire prosecution of President Trump is political, constitutes election interference, and should be dismissed.”

TRUMP LAWYERS MAKE CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN DA FANI WILLIS ‘IMPROPER’ AFFAIR ALLEGATIONS: ‘IRREPARABLE STAIN’

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis at the Fulton County Courthouse on March 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alex Slitz-Pool/Getty Images)

In addition to overseeing the election racketeering case against Trump, McAfee is also presiding over allegations brought by a handful of co-defendants that Willis hired special counsel Nathan Wade when they were secretly romantic lovers and financially benefited from his hiring.

The bombshell allegations led to a blockbuster evidentiary hearing last month in which Willis and Wade denied the allegations they were in a relationship when he was hired and that Willis never benefited from Wade’s position because she would reimburse him with cash for all the vacations they took together.

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McAfee is considering the evidence presented in the hearing and is expected to make a decision whether Willis and her team should be disqualified from the case in the next two weeks.

McAfee said at the start of the proceedings this month that it’s “clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one.”

Fox News Digital’s Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

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