While Trump and the other defendants did not personally attend the hearing at the Fulton District Supreme Court, lawyers were present.
Judge Scott McAfee, presiding over the case, decided that the trial would begin on October 23, taking into account the “rapid trial” demands defended by Trump’s former campaign attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell.
When Kenneth and Powell’s lawyers demanded that their clients be tried independently of each other, the judge said that this was not necessary for the defendants to have a “fair trial”.
On the other hand, Judge McAfee stated that he found the request of the state prosecutors to be tried with Chesebro and Powell on October 23 for the other 17 defendants as “very suspicious”, but that he would listen to the prosecution’s reasons later on.
At the hearing, prosecutors shared the information that the trial of 19 people, including Trump, will take about 4 months, and that the state plans to listen to more than 150 witnesses, while McAfee evaluated that this period could take up to 8 months due to the large number of defendants.
While the trial went down in history as the first Trump trial to be televised live, Trump and 18 other defendants were not present in court as they exercised their right to “not attend” under Georgia state law.
Trump and the 18 defendants denied all charges related to the Georgia trial days before the trial.
Mark Meadows, Trump’s White House Chief of Staff, who was among the defendants, also applied for the case to be heard in federal court.
Trump accused of “election interference” in Georgia
Trump was indicted by the Atlanta grand jury on August 15 on charges of interfering with the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia, and surrendered on August 24 as part of the indictment.
It was the first time a criminal record photo was taken for the arrest file of Trump, who paid $200,000 bail when he surrendered. Trump went down in history as the “first American president with a criminal record”.
Trump had raised more than $7.1 million for the Republican grassroots nomination in the first week after he surrendered on August 24.