Judge Dismisses Some Charges Against Trump in Georgia Case Ahead of Fani Willis Disqualification Decision

AP Photo/Alex Slitz

As we await his decision on the motion to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade from the election interference case against Donald Trump in Georgia, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee dismissed some of the criminal charges against the former president and his co-defendants.

On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by Alan Dershowitz, author of War Against the Jews, to discuss Judge McAfee dropping the charges and what it could signal about his decision on Willis and Wade.

The Charges

Judge McAfee announced on Wednesday that he was tossing six criminal charges in the election fraud case against Trump and others due to a lack of specificity. The forty-fifth president and his 14 remaining co-defendants are accused of trying to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in the Peach State. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

The charges that were dropped involve alleged efforts to solicit Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office and the infamous phone call in which Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger he wanted to “find” the 11,780 votes he needed to win the state. 

McAfee noted that the charges in question did contain “essential” elements of the accused crimes, but they did not provide enough detail for the defendants to properly defend themselves. “The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance,” he wrote. “However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal.”

The judge added that the ruling “does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed.” Instead, the Fulton County district attorney’s office can seek a new indictment after beefing up the counts.

Trump’s attorney Steve Sadow said the judge “made the correct legal decision” in dismissing the charges. “The counts dismissed against President Trump are 5, 28 and 38, which falsely claimed that he solicited GA public officials to violate their oath of office,” he said in a statement to The New York Post. “The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts.”

The former president now faces 10 criminal counts – down from 13 – in the Peach State, including a violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

What Comes Next

The announcement on the dropped charges is sending speculation over whether or not McAfee has made his decision on the disqualification of Willis and Wade into overdrive. 

Friday will mark his self-imposed two-week deadline to give an answer, and he said on a radio show last week that he expected the timeline to hold. During that interview with Shelley Wynter, McAfee also shared that he had a rough draft of his decision outlined before any challengers entered the upcoming election against him.

Both Megyn and Dershowitz were inclined to believe that, based on the combination of information, Willis will remain on the case. “My first instinct when I saw the dismissed charges was he’s trying to show he did something that was good for Trump, and then – maybe later this week – he’s going to say, ‘And I did something that was good for Trump’s prosecutor by keeping Fani Willis on the case,’” Megyn speculated. “I think we can probably glean he’s definitely not going to grant the motion to dismiss this case entirely.”

Dershowitz agreed. “I think all the signs are pointing in that direction, and all the law and the facts are pointing in the opposite direction,” he said. “But I don’t think this judge is going to do justice in this case. I think he is going to figure out a way of not having her disqualified.”

At this point, Dershowitz said it is Judge McAfee who is “on trial” – not Trump and his co-defendants. “The real issue is whether [Willis and Wade] should be prosecuted or disbarred,” he concluded. “But I suspect the judge is not going to have the courage to find that. Maybe he’ll find the apparent conflict or possible conflict of interest… but that may not be enough under Georgia law.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Dershowitz by tuning in to episode 746 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.