ATLANTA — We're getting our first look at the possible scope of trying two of 19 co-defendants charged in connection to the RICO case meant to decide whether members of the Donald Trump campaign -- including the former president himself -- allegedly coordinated to overturn the results of Georgia's 2020 presidential election results.
After granting a request to sever the cases of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell from the rest of the defendants last week, it appears that more than 900 potential jurors could be summoned as part of the process of seating a jury in their cases.
Both defendants -- attorneys who assisted Trump following the election -- requested separation from the 17 remaining defendants after they filed demands for a speedy trial. That would require their cases to be heard before an early November deadline.
According to a Sept. 15 filing, McAfee ordered Fulton County court clerks to send subpoenas to more than 900 prospective trial jurors to appear for the case. According to the filing, half of the potential jurors would have to appear on Oct. 20, with the other half required to appear exactly a week later. During this time, prospective jurors would be called to complete, under oath, juror questionnaires.
Voir dire, or the process in which jurors are questioned to decide whether they can be fair or impartial, is set to start on Oct. 23, with Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee aiming to have a jury seated and sworn in by Nov. 5.
Trump and the 16 other defendants will remain together -- at least for now, as McAfee added that further splits may come. Meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she's confident that her office is ready and equipped to try the 2020 Georgia election case no matter how it shakes out.
Trump, Chesebro, Powell and 16 others were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury last month for their alleged criminal interference in the 2020 election. This is the fourth criminal case brought against Trump this year. It comes as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 2024 election.