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Court puts proceedings against Trump on hold

The trial against former US President Trump for attempted election manipulation in the state of Georgia has been delayed. The reason is allegations against the lead prosecutor. It is a legal victory for the presidential candidate.

An appeals court in Georgia has frozen the proceedings against presidential candidate Donald Trump for attempted election manipulation. It will not be decided until March of next year whether the lead prosecutor can continue the investigation into the case. This means that the case will not be heard before the presidential election in early November. This delay was the aim of Trump's lawyers.

A total of 41 charges against the accused

The case concerns the allegation that Trump and 18 other defendants attempted to retrospectively overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election. Trump lost to the Democrat and current US President Joe Biden. Trump himself had literally asked Georgia's election official in a phone call to “find” 11,000 votes that would have been needed for his election victory in the state.

Trump and the other defendants in the case were indicted in Georgia in August last year on a total of 41 charges. These include conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to make false statements, making false documents and inciting a violation of an oath of office. Four defendants have already pleaded guilty and thus avoided a possible prison sentence.

Allegations against senior public prosecutor

In the course of the proceedings, however, lead prosecutor Fani Willis has come under great pressure. Trump's lawyers accuse her of having illegally profited financially through a relationship with another prosecutor.

In March, the judge in charge, Scott McAfee, ruled that the evidence provided by Trump's legal team was not sufficient to prove that the prosecutor had a conflict of interest. However, Trump's defense attorneys successfully appealed against this decision. Now three appeals judges – all appointed by Republicans – are to decide by March 2025 whether Willis can continue the investigation. A first hearing is planned for October.

Several cases against Trump

The case in Georgia is one of four criminal proceedings against Trump. The election fraud case at the federal level and the case concerning the removal of secret government documents in Florida are also being delayed. A verdict before the upcoming presidential election is also practically impossible in these two cases.

Almost a week ago, Trump was found guilty in the trial for concealing hush money payments to a porn actress. It was the first time in US history that a former US president was convicted of a criminal offense.

With information from Ralf Borchard, ARD Studio Washington

Ralf Borchard, ARD Washington, tagesschau, 06.06.2024 06:06 a.m.

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