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Fulton County judge to summon 900 potential jurors for trial of Trump co-defendants Chesebro and Powell

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee is ordering 900 potential jurors to appear in court next month for the state’s trial against Trump’s co-defendants, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, both attorneys.

The order comes after McAfee ruled Thursday that former President Donald Trump and 16 others accused of trying to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election will be tried separately from Chesebro and Powell, who both invoked their right to a speedy trial. McAfee wrote that he will “work to have a jury selected and sworn in by November 3, 2023,” during Chesebro and Powell’s trial.

On Friday, McAfee ordered subpoenas to be issued for 450 potential jurors to appear on Oct. 20 and another 450 potential jurors to appear in Fulton County Court on Oct. 27. Chesebro and Powell’s trial is scheduled to begin October 23. .

Jessica Levinson, legal contributor for CBS News, said 900 is a high number for a jury, but understandable given the case.

“Is it very high? Yes,” she said. “Is it several times higher than most trials? Absolutely. Is it exponentially higher than most trials happening in America today? Yes, absolutely. But it involves the former president of the United States- United.”

“I think the idea is that so many people will have strong views about the defendants,” she added.

Each juror will be asked to fill out a questionnaire, but attorneys have not yet submitted their proposed questions.

Powell and Chesebro, invoking their right to a speedy trial, asked McAfee to sever their cases both from the rest of the defendants and from each other. McAfee agreed to segregate the files of the other defendants, but not from each other. They both pleaded not guilty.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis wanted all 19 defendants to be tried together, but McAfee argued that was a logistical impossibility.

Chesebro is charged with seven counts related to an alleged attempt to submit a false slate of Georgia voters to elect Trump, and Powell is accused of coordinating with a data company to access election data. Like all other defendants in Georgia, they are also charged with RICO violations.

— Jared Eggleston and Melissa Quinn contributed to this report


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