Trump arraignment scheduled for next week in Georgia election case

Donald Trump’s arraignment in Fulton County, Georgia has been scheduled for 9.30am on 6 September, a court docket has revealed.

The remaining 18 defendants in the 2020 election subversion case have been scheduled to be arraigned after Mr Trump in 15-minute increments.

Former New York Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to be arraigned at 9.45am and former law professor John Eastman after that at 10am.

“Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell is set to be arraigned at 10.15am on 6 September – Wednesday next week – followed by former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at 10.30am.

The defendants will be arraigned in Fulton County Superior Court and they will be asked to enter a plea.

All 19 defendants, including the ex-president, surrendered in Atlanta last week for their booking procedures, with 18 being released on bond. The only defendant to remain in jail is Harrison Floyd, who was denied release after he didn’t reach a bond agreement with the office of the district attorney.

On Monday, a federal judge in Atlanta heard arguments from Mr Meadows in his attempt to move his racketeering case from Fulton County to federal court.

The former White House chief is arguing that his actions alleged in the indictment were connected to his job as an official on the federal level. Mr Trump is also expected to request that his case be moved to federal court, partly in the hope that he gets a more amiable jury as the pool would include more suburban residents around Atlanta.

But Georgia State University assistant law professor Anthony Michael Kreis has told The New York Times that the indictment could contain information that may reject that argument.

The indictment states that the election interference went on until September 2021, eight months after Mr Trump left office. At that time, Mr Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to decertify the 2020 election and that he “announce the true winner”.

Mr Raffensperger was on the other end of the line during the infamous 2 January 2021 phone call when Mr Trump asked him to “find” 11,780 votes to put him ahead of President Joe Biden by one ballot.

“By showing the racketeering enterprise continued well beyond his time in office, it undercuts any argument that Trump was acting in a governmental capacity,” Mr Kreis told the paper.

Atlanta attorney Brian Tevis negotiated Mr Giualiani’s bond agreement. He told The Times that the defence “would probably want potentially a year or so to catch up” before a trial could take place.

“You have to realize that the state had a two-year head start,” he added. “They know what they have, no one else knows what they have. No discovery has been turned over, we haven’t even had arraignment yet.”