Lawyers representing former President Donald Trump have submitted several motions this week to the state of Georgia in an effort to dismiss the charges brought against him by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
The motions, which use arguments initially presented by the legal team for attorney Kenneth Chesebro, cite a total of 13 counts including an alleged violation of the state’s racketeering laws, as reported by NBC News.
It is worth noting that Chesebro spearheaded the legal campaign to establish an alternative set of electors for the state.
He “last week asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to dismiss the case against him, arguing that the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause barred states from prosecuting or otherwise regulating conduct ‘that was entirely within the ambit of federal authority,’” NBC News added.
Cornell Law School says the Supremacy Clause “establishes that the federal constitution, and federal law generally, take precedence over state laws, and even state constitutions.”
“In adopting the motion to dismiss, Trump’s lawyers said Chesebro’s constitutional argument applied to the racketeering and other conspiracy-related charges against Trump. It was one of two Trump filings Monday that pertained to Chesebro’s earlier motions,” NBC noted.
“Attorneys for Trump took a similar approach Monday in adopting an earlier motion filed by former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani that would affect seven of the counts against Trump,” the outlet added.
Trump’s efforts to have the charges dismissed have arrived shortly after his legal team notified the same court that they may pursue bringing his case before a federal court.
Mark Meadows, Trump’s former Chief of Staff, has also attempted to do so unsuccessfully thus far. Judge Willis has expressed her desire to proceed with a trial for all 19 co-defendants in the upcoming month; however, Chesebro and Sidney Powell, another former lawyer of Trump’s, are scheduled for trial on October 23rd due to their request for an expedited process.
Elie Honig, a legal analyst for CNN, acknowledged during his appearance on CNN This Morning that Trump’s motion asking U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself from his January 6th case is an “extreme longshot” legally, yet he noted that given the judge’s prior comments it is “not an outrageous motion.”
Trump’s legal team has presented a motion for recusal of Judge Chutkan due to remarks made during the sentencing of individuals convicted for their part in the Capitol attack on January 6.
The motion claims that these comments indicate a potential bias against the former president. In support, it cites Chutkan’s statement: “The people who exhorted you and encouraged you and rallied you to go and take action and to fight have not been charged.”
CNN host Poppy Harlow asked: “Trump’s lawyers argue statements like those and others mean she should not be able to hear this case against Trump. They add ‘only if this trial is administered by a judge who appears entirely impartial could the public ever accept the outcome as justice.’ I know recusals don’t happen often in situations like this. There are other statements that are interesting that she’s made. Things like when she said last year, “It’s a blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” They, talking about, you would think Trump. What do you think?”
Honig responded: “So this is an extreme longshot, legally speaking. But you can see where Donald Trump’s coming from. It’s not an outrageous motion when you see various statements that Judge Charlton has made in the course of handling the prosecutions and sentencings of other January 6 rioters. She has said things that seem to pretty clearly suggest that she believed years ago Donald Trump should have been charged, should have been held accountable. And she was essentially making the point at these sentencings that, yes, you’re being prosecuted, rightly so, for storming the Capitol, but more responsible people are not.”
“The problem, however, with Donald Trump’s argument legally is that A: it’s really hard to get a judge to recuse himself or herself. And, B, you can’t base a recusal motion for the most part on something that a judge said during a court proceeding, basically because that’s a judge’s job,” he said.
“They have to take all the evidence in front of them, make decisions, make determinations sometimes about the relative culpability of other people. And so the Supreme Court has basically said if you’re trying to recuse the judge, you have to do it based on something outside of whatever she said in the scope of an actual case in court,” Honig continued.