Trump Georgia election interference case hearing

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Judge Scott McAfee presides over a hearing regarding media access at the Fulton County Courthouse August 31, 2023 in Atlanta. Arvin Temkar/Pool/Getty Images

For the first time since a judge ruled that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can continue to oversee the Georgia 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump, the focus will return to the details of the sprawling case.

During a hearing this morning, Trump’s lead attorney in Georgia is expected to argue that the indictment should be dismissed because the former president’s political speech is protected by the First Amendment. Trump is not expected to be in attendance for the hearing.

In a motion filed in late 2023, before the unsuccessful efforts by defendants to disqualify Willis from the case emerged, Trump attorney Steve Sadow argued that the peddling of conspiracy theories and claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election were at their core political speech, and therefore Trump never should have been indicted.

“The core political speech and expressive conduct alleged in this indictment against President Trump are protected from government regulation and thus criminal prosecution by the State,” Sadow wrote.

“Criminalizing President Trump’s speech and advocacy disputing the outcome of the election—while speech endorsing the election’s outcome is viewed as unimpeachable—is thus blatant viewpoint discrimination,” he added.

Willis recently told CNN she was ready to get the case back on track, after more than two months of disqualification hearings ensued over the romantic relationship she had with her lead prosecutor Nathan Wade. Judge Scott McAfee ruled Willis should not be disqualified from spearheading the case if Wade stepped aside, which he has.


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