According to a recent report that connected the dots between former President Donald Trump’s Georgia indictment and co-conspirators, there appears to be a pattern of behavior that suggests his allies may turn on him in order to legally protect themselves.
Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, is accused of conspiring with Trump to manipulate the 2020 election results in Georgia, as reported by Politico about his potential legal strategy.
Court records cited in the article indicate that Meadows could join other former associates of Trump’s in holding him responsible for the alleged racketeering scheme and characterizing him as its “primary driver”.
Donald Trump’s involvement in the widely-publicized telephone conversation on January 2nd, 2021, during which he allegedly proposed that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “locate” sufficient ballots, was highlighted by the defense attorney of Mr. Meadows. This is expected to be a pivotal part of the prosecution’s argument.
Politico reported: “Meadows arranged that pivotal call. But after prosecutors played audio of the call in the courtroom, an attorney for Meadows emphasized that his client’s part in the actual discussion was both more minor and less provocative than Trump’s.”
“There’s a lot of statements by Mr. Trump. Mr. Meadows’ speaking roles were quite limited,” Meadows’ lawyer, Michael Francisco, observed as he cross-examined Raffensperger, who was called to testify by prosecutors.
“He didn’t make a request that you change the vote totals — Mr. Meadows, himself?” Francisco continued.
“Correct,” Raffensperger replied.
Politico conducted an investigation into Meadows, which was linked to news from last month stating that Yuscil Taveras, the Mar-a-Lago IT director, withdrew his testimony in court and divulged details tying Trump to attempts at erasing resort security camera footage.
Politico suggested this information may substantiate a contention of obstruction of justice or mishandling of classified materials on the part of the former president.
However, David Shafer, Cathleen Latham, and Shawn Still have all attested in court filings that they were simply following orders from Trump and his legal representatives.
The three are accused of attempting to interfere with Georgia’s election results by impersonating voters.
NEW: Some of Trump’s codefendants — from Mark Meadows to false electors — have begun shifting blame onto him and presenting defenses that they were just acting at his behest.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 5, 2023
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is pushing for a swift trial of all nineteen defendants in the case that she has filed against Trump. A report states that Willis requested to the court on Tuesday that the defendants be tried beginning on October 23rd.
At this time, only two defendants have been identified, former Trump attorney Sydney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro. In her filing, Willis argued that separating the defendants would not be appropriate.
MSNBC host Ali Velshi asked network legal analyst Glenn Kirshner, “What is the basis of arguing that severance in a case like this is improper?”
“So, Ali, anytime we indict a co-defendant case, the prosecutors have a keen interest in keeping all defendants in the same trial,” Kirschner said. “The defendants ordinarily have a keen interest to try to get themselves removed from, or severed out, of the joint trial. Why is that? Because any time co-defendants are tried separate from their fellow co-defendants — and I’ve had this happen many times as a prosecutor — they will make what they call ‘the empty chair defense.’”
“So I can almost promise you that one of, for example, defendant Chesebro’s defenses, if he is sitting there, either alone or maybe with Sidney Powell and one or two other co-conspirators, charged co-defendants, I can almost see him saying, ‘You know what? John Eastman, the constitutional scholar, the law school Dean, who should be sitting in that empty chair right there, but he’s not. He is the true architect behind the alternate electors scheme because he assured me there was legal support for it,’” Kirshner continued.
The legal analyst further asserted that this could potentially cause one juror to possess reasonable doubt regarding the case, resulting in a hung jury and no verdict. Additionally, Kirshner predicted that numerous co-defendants will argue they are unable to adequately ready themselves for trial by October 23rd.
“It will be really interesting now to see what Judge [Scott] McAfee does now that Fani Willis is prepared to give everyone their speedy trial,” Kirschner added.
The House Judiciary Committee, led by Republicans, is urging the Democratic District Attorney Willis to present details regarding her prosecution of Trump.