Defendants in Georgia election fraud indictment continue attempts to dismiss charges

Two of the co-defendants in Fulton County's election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies are making another attempt to avoid going to trial days before their court date approaches.

Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury in August along with Trump and 16 others, accused under the state’s anti-racketeering law of participating in a wide-ranging illegal scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. 

A pool of 450 potential jurors has been  instructed to show up on Oct. 20 to begin the process of seating a jury. But lawyers for the dependents want their indictments dismissed, arguing that their case should be thrown out on various grounds - including saying that the indictment of a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause.

Chesebro is accused of working on the coordination and execution of a plan to have 16 Georgia Republicans sign a certificate declaring falsely that Trump won and declaring themselves the state’s "duly elected and qualified" electors.

His attorneys argue that the memo he drafted is in no way connected to Georgia.

"So the issue becomes if you are accused of being a second slate of electors, which is then being a false government official, and if you sign the votes, that's false. If you submit the vote, that's false. It makes compliance with state and federal law impossible, and that's where conflict comes in," Cheseboro's lawyer Manny Arora told the judge last week.

While Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee hasn't ruled on either motion, but he has indicated that the arguments advanced by Chesebro’s attorneys may be procedurally improper for pretrial motions.

Powell is accused of participating in a breach of election equipment in rural Coffee County. She’s alleged to have hired and paid a computer forensics team that copied data and software from the election equipment without authorization.

The two attorneys are being tried separately from the others because they invoked their right to have a speedy trial. 

Last Monday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday filed paperwork required to compel the testimony from an out-of-state witness, documents that function like a subpoena, for three people — Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel, InfoWars' Alex Jones and Andrew Hitt, who was chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party in late 2020. She had filed similar paperwork for six other people last week, including Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn and Lin Wood, a prominent defamation attorney and ardent Trump supporter who publicly disputed the outcome of the 2020 election.

Powell and Chesebro will be back in court Monday morning to continue the pre-trial hearing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.