Judge in Georgia election interference case quashes some charges against Trump

By Sam Gringlas (90.1 WABE)
March 13, 2024 3:10 p.m.
Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee presides in court during a hearing in the Georgia election interference case.

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee presides in court during a hearing in the Georgia election interference case.

Alex Slitz / Pool/Getty Images

Updated March 13, 2024 at 10:59 AM ET


ATLANTA — The judge overseeing the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies has thrown out six criminal counts from the indictment.

Trump now faces 10 felony charges in Georgia, instead of 13.

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee agreed to grant motions from defendants in the case to quash six counts in the indictment, writing in an order Wednesday that: “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’s opinion, fatal.”

Trump and the other 14 remaining co-defendants in the case are still facing charges of racketeering and other crimes. One defendant, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, now faces only a racketeering charge.

"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," McAfee wrote. "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."

Trump and the five other defendants on the order have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.


Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University who has followed the case closely, says that prosecutors could return to a grand jury and bring a new indictment with more specificity.

McAfee quashed counts 2, 5, 6, 23, 28 and 38 — all of which focus on alleged efforts by the defendants to solicit public officials, including the Georgia secretary of state and members of the Georgia House and Senate, to violate their oaths of office.

The indictment alleges that defendants pressured these officials to "unlawfully appoint presidential electors" or "unlawfully influence the certified election returns." At the heart of the indictment are efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn Joe Biden's narrow victory in Georgia in 2020.

McAfee wrote that when prosecutors alleged that the defendants violated their oaths to the Georgia Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, that charge was so broad that it would be impossible for defendants to prepare a defense.

"On its own, the United States Constitution contains hundreds of clauses, any one of which can be the subject of a lifetime's study," McAfee wrote.

McAfee is also weighing whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her top special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, should be removed from prosecuting the case due to an alleged conflict of interest. Several defendants in the case argue that Willis stood to personally benefit from the prosecution due to a romantic relationship with Wade, whom she hired for the case.

McAfee is expected to rule on that matter this week.

A trial date for Trump and the other defendants has yet to be set in Georgia, as the judge wrangles the former president's complicated legal calendar this summer and a deluge of pretrial motions from the many defendants.

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