Trump’s Defense Fails: Georgia Judge Rejects Trump’s Free Speech Defense

By Stermy 3 Min Read

Another legal move gone wrong as a Georgia judge on Thursday, April 4th, 2024, rejected former U.S. President, Donald J Trump’s bid to dismiss election interference charges on free speech grounds.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee in a 14-page ruling, said that their right to protest the 2020 presidential election result did not protect them from the charges that District Attorney Fani Willis’s office brought.

According to McAfee, the court has concluded that the essential constitutional protections do not extend to the actions and statements as claimed by the State, consequently leading to the denial of their motions to dismiss.

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Trump and his co-defendants, including his former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, had argued the DA’s prosecution “violates the First Amendment’s protections of political speech and activity, freedom of association, and the right to petition Congress as applied to their alleged conduct, and further contends that the indicted charges are overbroad.” According to NBC News.

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McAfee, however, determined that the Defendants’ expressions and speech are alleged to have been made in furtherance of criminal activity and constitute false statements knowingly and willfully made in matters within a government agency’s jurisdiction which threaten to deceive and harm the government.

In response, Trump’s lawyer Steve Sadow stated that, “President Trump and other defendants respectfully disagree with Judge McAfee’s order and will continue to evaluate their options regarding the First Amendment challenges.”

McAfee noted in his ruling that during oral argument, the defendants posited that the speech at issue, even if false, was political and that one cannot be prosecuted for falsity alone.

However, the judge clarified that the prosecutors had not solely prosecuted based on falsity. Instead, the judge pointed to allegations that the defendants attempted to certify “alternate” presidential electors and knowingly made false claims in state proceedings and court, all as part of an effort to overturn the results of the state’s election, which Joe Biden had won.

“The State has alleged more than mere expressions of a political nature. Rather, the indictment charges the Defendants with knowingly and willfully making false statements to public officers and knowingly and willfully filing documents containing false statements and misrepresentations within the jurisdiction of state departments and agencies,” the judge wrote.

In the racketeering case, Trump and 14 other defendants have entered pleas of not guilty. As of now, no trial date has been scheduled.

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By Stermy
Stermy is one Crazy fan of the word "Internet". Always online to stay informed and keep others updated. #townflex