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Co-defendants’ speedy trials could “break really bad” for Trump: Kirschner

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Donald Trump’s co-defendants being granted “speedy trials” in Georgia could “break really bad” for the ex-president, according to legal analyst Glenn Kirschner.

Kenneth Chesebro, a former Trump lawyer who is the alleged architect of the “fake electors” scheme to illegally reverse the outcome of the 2020 election, was granted his request for a speedy trial by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on Thursday. Chesebro is now set to stand trial for seven felony charges on October 23.

Lawyer Sidney Powell, best known for threatening to “release the Kraken” that she claimed would prove Trump was the victim of massive election fraud in 2020, filed an additional motion requesting her own speedy trial on Friday. Powell is also facing seven felony charges.

Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor, suggested during an MSNBC appearance on Friday that Chesebro and potentially Powell being tried early could result in Trump’s co-defendants attempting to save themselves by choosing to “point the finger” at the ex-president and others being tried later.

Donald Trump Speedy Trials Co-Defendants Georgia Kirschner
Former President Donald Trump is pictured at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after surrendering at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia on August 24, 2023. Legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said on Friday that Trump’s co-defendants in Georgia opting for “speedy trials” could “break really bad” for the ex-president.
Joe Raedle

“You know what the co-defendants in the first trial will do?” Kirschner said. “They will point the finger at the empty chair and say, ‘Those are the bad guys, Trump and [Rudy] Giuliani and [Mark] Meadows. It’s not us.’ So this could break really bad for Donald Trump.”

Kirschner also said that an early trial for Chesebro and possibly Powell could be counterproductive for Trump’s defense because evidence against the former president would “go untested.”

“Donald Trump will not have a voice at that trial,” said Kirschner. “The evidence that will come in before the jury that incriminates Donald Trump may largely go untested.

“That’s the downside [for Trump],” he added. “It probably will not involve anybody attacking or going after—trying to knock down—the incriminating evidence regarding Donald Trump.”

Kirschner went on to suggest that Chesebro may have unsuccessfully been attempting to “call the bluff” of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis with the speedy trial request and could choose to withdraw the request when the trial enters the discovery phase.

Newsweek reached out for comment to Steven Sadow, Trump’s lead lawyer in the Fulton County case, via email on Friday night.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung previously accused Kirschner of being “a notorious trafficker of wild conspiracy theories and dubious legal analysis” who “has been shunned by the legal community at large” in a statement to Newsweek.

Willis initially proposed a trial start date of March 4, 2024, before suggesting that all 19 defendants, including Trump, could be tried on October 23 after Chesebro’s request was granted.

Lawyers for Trump rejected Willis’ proposed date in a filing informing the court that the former president would also “be filing a timely motion to sever his case from that of co-defendant Chesebro, who has filed a demand for speedy trial, or any other co-defendant who files such a demand.”

In Trump’s federal January 6 case, the former president’s legal team requested that his trial begin in April 2026—a far cry from the January 2, 2024 date proposed by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Trump is currently facing a total of 91 felony charges across four federal and state indictments. He denies all wrongdoing and claims to be the victim of a “witch hunt” and “election interference.”

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