| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Trump lawyers drop second challenge to Georgia prosecutor, grand jury

Donald Trump’s lawyers have dropped a second longshot bid to disqualify the Georgia prosecutor investigating whether the former president illegally interfered with the state’s 2020 presidential race.

The upcoming request, which was scheduled to be heard next week, was rendered superfluous by a judge’s order on Monday in an earlier, identical motion filed by Trump’s team, the lawyers claimed in a filing in Fulton County Superior Court on Thursday.

The lawyers also said they intended to appeal Monday’s ruling by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.

Trump’s team had filed the second motion because they said the first one had been left undecided by the judge for too long.

McBurney denied Trump’s request to disqualify the lead prosecutor, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, block any potential indictments and throw out a special grand jury report that included recommendations on who to charge.

The report has remained sealed under McBurney’s orders pending charges in the case, one of many legal troubles Trump faces even as he campaigns to be the Republican nominee in the 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Willis has indicated she intends to ask a grand jury to approve charges sometime in the next three weeks, telling judges that her staff will mostly work remotely as a safety precaution.

Trump,77, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges he orchestrated a plot to try to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

It was the third time Trump has pleaded not guilty since April. Months of pretrial legal wrangling are expected against the backdrop of the presidential campaign, in which Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Trump previously pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he retained classified documents after leaving office and New York state charges that he falsified documents in connection with hush money payments to a porn star.

  • Reuters