Former President Donald Trump’s trial in Georgia is sure to be watched by a large television audience, and a Fox News interview given Wednesday by one of his co-defendants may not have had the desired reception. Across the country, meanwhile, Democratic activists are pushing legal action to keep Trump off of presidential ballots.
Georgia election interference
Trump’s Fulton County trial will be televised
Key players: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Fulton County DA Fani Willis
Judge McAfee confirmed Thursday that Trump’s trial in Fulton County, Ga., will be livestreamed on YouTube, all but guaranteeing that they will also be broadcast nationwide on television screens, CBS News reported.
Trump is charged with 13 felony counts in connection with his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state. He is one of 19 people charged with crimes by Fulton County DA Fani Willis. On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty, NBC News reported, via a waiver that spared him from making a court appearance on Sept. 6 to be arraigned.
Why it matters: Trump is a master at using social media to try to control the narrative regarding the 91 felony counts he has been charged with this year. With cameras covering the proceedings in the Georgia case, Americans will be able to judge for themselves whether he receives a fair trial.
Eastman interview raises eyebrows
Key players: Former Trump lawyer John Eastman, Fox News host Laura Ingraham
One of the alleged architects of the plan for Vice President Mike Pence to send the Electoral College votes in key battlegrounds back to the states and potentially overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, Eastman sat for a Wednesday night interview with Fox News’ Ingraham, the Independent reported.
“What I recommended, and I’ve said this repeatedly, is that he accede to requests from more than 100 state legislators in the swing states, to give them a week to try and sort out the impact of what everybody acknowledged was illegality in the conduct of the election,” Eastman told Ingraham about his advice to Pence.
For many legal experts, Eastman’s remarks were an extraordinary miscalculation. “He literally just confessed to the crime,” attorney Bradley P. Moss wrote on X.
Eastman has been charged with 9 felony counts in Fulton County.
Why it matters: Last week, legal expert Matthew Seligman testified at Eastman’s California disbarment hearing that there was no legal justification for Pence to delay the certification of the election results, ABC News reported.
Jan. 6 election interference
Activists pressure state election officials to keep Trump off the ballot using 14th Amendment
Key players: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe, special counsel Jack Smith
Legal scholars and a growing number of democratic activists contend that Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election — for which he has been criminally charged by Smith — disqualify him from running for reelection.
Via ABC News: Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which states that an elected official is not eligible to assume public office if that person “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States, or had “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” unless they are granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.
Activists have filed lawsuits in Michigan, New Hampshire and Arizona to block Trump’s name from appearing on the ballot, and secretaries of state in Maine, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada have begun having discussions in preparations of legal challenges there.
Why it matters: Trump likes to portray the 91 felony charges against him as “ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” given his substantial polling lead in the Republican presidential primary. The 14th Amendment argument, which Tribe laid out in a recent piece in the Atlantic, is poised to further that debate and play out in the courts in the months to come.
Military Times: Two ex-Proud Boys leaders get among longest sentences in Jan. 6 attack
CNN: ‘Trump isn’t funding any of us’: Co-defendants in Georgia case are struggling with mounting legal bills
USA Today: Pennsylvania judge rules Trump had immunity only in civil case — Fact check