Trump lawyers drop second challenge to Georgia prosecutor grand jury

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., July 15, 2023. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo Acquire LICENSE RIGHTS

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s lawyers have abandoned a second attempt to disqualify the Georgia prosecutor who is investigating whether the former president illegally interfered in the state’s 2020 presidential election.

The pending motion, which was scheduled to be heard next week, was rendered unnecessary by a judge’s ruling Monday on an earlier, similar motion by Trump’s team, lawyers said in a filing Thursday in Fulton County Superior Court.

The attorneys also said they plan to appeal Monday’s ruling by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.

Trump’s team filed the second motion because they said the judge had left the first one undecided for too long.

McBurney rejected Trump’s request to disqualify the lead prosecutor, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, block any possible indictments and throw out a special grand jury report that made recommendations on who to indict.

The report remained sealed on McBurney’s orders pending charges in the case – one of many legal problems facing Trump even as he runs for the Republican nomination in the 2024 US presidential election.

Willis has indicated she intends to ask a grand jury to approve the indictment sometime in the next three weeks, telling justices that her staff will mostly work remotely for safety reasons.

Trump, 77, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he orchestrated a conspiracy to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

It was the third time since April that Trump had pleaded not guilty. Against the backdrop of the presidential election campaign, in which Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, months of pre-trial disputes are expected.

Trump had previously pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he kept secret documents after leaving office and New York state accused him of falsifying documents related to hush-money payments to a porn star.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Editing by Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Purchase license rightsopens new tab