Judge tosses some Trump Georgia charges in election interference case due to lack of detail

March 14, 2024

A Georgia judge dismissed some of former President Trump’s charges on Wednesday, March1 13, in the sweeping election interference case against him due to a lack of detail, reports The Hill.

Judge Scott McAfee tossed six charges contained in the indictment, including three of Trump’s counts, but his ruling does not impact the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charge that serves as the foundation of the historic prosecution.

McAfee’s ruling is not linked to the judge’s examination of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s relationship with a special prosecutor on the case, which he is also expected to rule on this week.

Each of the tossed charges related to alleged efforts by Trump and some of his co-defendants—including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows—to solicit Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office.

The judge ruled that while the charges do contain the “essential” elements of each crime, they fail to provide enough detail for the defendants to mount their defenses. Under the current charges, McAfee said, the defendants could have violated the law in “dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.”

“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,” McAfee wrote. “However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal.”

McAfee made clear that his ruling “does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed” and said the Fulton County district attorney’s office could seek reindictment after supplementing the charges he deemed insufficient.

The judge wrote that, even if the statute of limitations expires, the state will receive a six-month extension from Wednesday to resubmit its case to a grand jury. He also said prosecutors could request to a certificate allowing them to appeal, which he would “likely grant” because of a lack of precedent.

McAfee’s decision marks the first time Trump has gotten any of his 91 criminal counts across his various indictments tossed. He has pleaded not guilty in each case and has numerous motions pending that seek to dismiss remaining charges.

Research contact: @thehill