Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has requested an October 23, 2023, trial date in the election subversion case she’s brought against former President Donald Trump and 18 of his supporters, according to a court filing Thursday.
Willis pointed to a request filed Wednesday by Trump co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro that sought a quick trial under Georgia’s Speedy Trial Act. Willis had told reporters last week when the indictment was returned that she would seek a trial that would begin within the six months.
Trump opposes Willis’ proposed timeline, his attorneys said in a filing this afternoon.
Legal experts at the time said that timeline was not plausible, especially as Willis has also indicated she’d like to try the 19 defendants all together. Lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants have previewed the likelihood of pre-trial disputes that will drag the proceedings out. Already three defendants are seeking to move the case to federal court, and the former president is expected to launch a similar bid of his own.
Another sprawling anti-racketeering case brought by Willis suggests that such a timeline is unrealistic. The case, alleging that Jeffrey Williams, the rapper Young Thug, and several of his associates violated Georgia’s RICO law – the key charge in the Trump case – has moved slowly to trial, despite a move by Williams to assert his right to speedy trial.
Jury selection in the case began in January 2023, more than a year and a half the charges were brought. The jury selection remains ongoing and has lasted for more than six months.
Ellie Honig, a CNN legal analyst, said on CNN News Central that while Chesebro has every right to seek a quick trial under the Speedy Trial Act’s expedited timeframe, forcing the other defendants to prepare for a trial in such a short time period may raise constitutional issues. It could lead to possibility that the case’s defendants could be split up – or severed – from the case, Honig said.