top of page

Former President Trump Sees Reduction in Felony Charges

The twice-impeached and four-times indicted former President Donald Trump experienced a mixed bag of legal developments on Wednesday as Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee reduced the number of felony charges against him.

While this may seem like a victory for Trump, McAfee’s decision to quash six counts in the indictment, including three against the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, comes with caveats. The judge left several counts, including ten against Trump, intact and allowed prosecutors to seek a new indictment to reinstate the dismissed charges.

Trump, who has been ordered to pay $91 million for sexually assaulting a journalist and nearly $500 million for massive business fraud this year, saw the criminal felony counts against him drop from 91 to 88.

McAfee’s ruling marks the first time charges have been dismissed in any of Trump’s four criminal cases. The judge cited insufficient detail about the alleged crimes as the reason for dismissing some counts. The sprawling indictment, invoking Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), accuses Trump and over a dozen others of orchestrating a “criminal enterprise” to maintain power following his defeat in the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump’s defense team and notable figures like Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows have all pleaded not guilty and welcomed the judge’s decision. Trump’s attorney, Steve Sadow, labeled the prosecution as politically motivated and called for its dismissal, alleging interference in the electoral process.

The six dismissed counts primarily revolved around accusations of soliciting public officers to violate their oaths. One count stemmed from a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him to “find 11,780 votes.” Another count accused Trump of soliciting then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston to appoint presidential electors unlawfully.

McAfee’s order leaves Trump and Meadows facing RICO charges, while Giuliani sees three out of 13 counts dismissed. McAfee allowed prosecutors to seek a re-indictment to supplement the dismissed counts, with a six-month window to resubmit the case to a grand jury.

Meanwhile, McAfee is also considering disqualifying Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the case due to a past romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade. Willis has maintained that the relationship ended a long time ago and denies any conflict of interest. McAfee’s ruling on the matter, expected by the end of the week, could significantly impact the case’s trajectory.

The Georgia indictment, spanning nearly 100 pages, outlines numerous alleged attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election results, including harassing election workers and pressuring Georgia lawmakers. Four individuals charged in the indictment have already pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors, including prominent Trump allies Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro.

The Georgia case intersects with a federal case in Washington, where Trump faces charges of conspiring to overturn his election loss. Additionally, Trump is scheduled for trial later this month in New York, facing allegations of falsifying company records to conceal payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign.


The Reporter Newspaper
bottom of page