First Trump loyalist in Georgia enters a NOT GUILTY plea: Ray Smith, the ex-president’s lawyer, denies attempting to have the state’s election results overturned.On Monday, Trump’s lawyer Ray Smith pleaded not guilty in Fulton County.Smith can escape an on-camera arraignment on September 6 thanks to the written plea.MORE READINGTrump, according to a former Georgia GOP lieutenant governor, has the “moral compass” of a “ax murderer.”By U.S. political reporter Katelyn Caralle of Dailymail.com 29 August 2023 16:31 Eastern Daylight Time
One of Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants entered a not guilty plea on Monday in Georgia court, allowing him to avoid entering one on September 6 in front of the cameras.The Trump-employed Georgia-based lawyer Ray Smith has waived his arraignment and issued a written denial of misconduct in the case involving electoral tampering.The remaining co-defendants, including former President Trump, were ordered to present themselves for bookings by noon on Friday, August 25, and will be officially arraigned next Wednesday in Fulton County, Georgia.
Despite three prior indictments—the most recent for his illegal attempts to change the Georgia 2020 presidential election results—the booking resulted in the first mugshot of Trump.On August 23, Smith turned himself in to police at the Fulton County jail and was later freed on a $50,000 bond.
The September 6 arraignments can be shown on television since Judge Steve Jones has already permitted cameras in the courtroom. Smith can escape being arraigned in front of the public by pleading not guilty in writing. According to the lawyer for the Georgia man, “it is counsel’s understanding that by filing this waiver of arraignment, prior to the arraignment date, that Mr. Smith and undersigned counsel are executed from appearing at the arraignment calendar on September 6, 2023.”
There will undoubtedly be other written not guilty pleas in the future.
There are currently 12 counts against Smith in the indictment, including a racketeering accusation alleging a plot to rig the 2020 Georgia presidential election in favor of Joe Biden.
There are two counts of making false statements and three counts of enticing a public official to break their oath of office. Six more are associated with the plan to submit phony voters, which includes forgery and conspiracy charges.In a number of the counts against Smith, he was charged with taking part in legislative hearings in Georgia when he and other lawyers attempted to persuade lawmakers that there had been widespread election fraud.Smith interrogated witnesses for Trump’s team and interacted with lawmakers during the proceedings.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis handed out the 41-count indictment earlier this month against Trump and the 18 co-defendants. Mark Meadows, who served as Donald Trump’s final chief of staff in the White House, sought on Monday that his case be transferred from Georgia to the federal level so that he may have access to a more representative jury.
In his testimony, he maintained that all of his decisions were made with the president’s approval and in his official capacity as the top White House adviser.
Additionally requesting that their cases be transferred to federal court are former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and former Georgia State Senator and GOP Chair David Shafer. On Monday, Judge Jones heard Meadows’ defense arguments and set a hearing for September 18 to discuss Clark’s request to transfer his case to federal court.
On Monday, Jones decided not to rule on Meadows’ endeavor. Former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Disney Powell, and Jenna Ellis are among the co-defendants. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act of Georgia was among the counts for which Trump and the other 18 people were accused.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn