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Judge refuses to jail Trump co-defendant Harrison Floyd in Georgia election interference case

A Fulton County judge on Tuesday denied a request to revoke the bond of Harrison Floyd, one of the co-defendants in former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Georgia, after the district attorney Fani Willis personally pleaded for him to be imprisoned immediately.

Judge Scott McAfee found that Floyd violated the conditions of his bond “repeatedly” after posting several tweets identifying witnesses in the case – but the judge ruled that “not all violations result in revocation” .

Instead, he said he would “modify” the bail conditions in some way “to specifically prohibit public comments about witnesses” in the future.

The hearing marked the first time Willis personally presented arguments in court related to the case.

Floyd, along with Trump and 17 other defendants, pleaded not guilty over the summer to all charges as part of a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.

All 19 defendants surrendered for treatment and were later released on bail. Defendants Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jena Ellis, and Scott Hall then entered into plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

Willis, in an impassioned plea in court Tuesday, argued that Floyd’s derogatory tweets amounted to intimidation and were a “disgusting” violation of the bail order he agreed to.

“He was given the benefit of the doubt… he was given the opportunity to cooperate with the rules of the case, and what he actually did was spit on the court and refuse to obey under three of the seven conditions of his bail order.” Willis said of the bail agreement, which prohibits intimidation of any co-defendant or witness in the case, and prohibits direct communication with any witness or accused on the facts of the case.

“It’s unfair to these witnesses. And there are real consequences for allowing defendants to intimidate witnesses,” Willis said, urging the judge to “remand him today.”

Floyd’s lawyer asked the judge not to jail Floyd, saying that if the judge asked him to “tone down his words,” Floyd would “do what you tell him to do.”

“Threats and intimidation are well defined in Georgia law; none of these messages constitute threats or intimidation,” Floyd’s attorney said.

During the hearing, one of Willis’s chief investigators read aloud Floyd’s tweets one by one, along with the threatening comments posted underneath, as Floyd sat just feet away from the court table. defense.

Floyd identified several witnesses in the case in his tweets, sending them direct notifications on the posts. Among those mentioned were Ellis, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and election official Gabriel Sterling — as well as former election worker Ruby Freeman, whom Floyd, in the DA’s indictment, is accused of having attempted to influence the 2020 elections.

“WE WANT THE TRUTH!!!!!!” Floyd wrote in an article naming Raffensperger and Sterling that referenced alleged election crimes. “It’s time for accountability…Unseal the ballots.”

Willis’ investigation was sparked in part by Trump’s Jan. 3, 2021, phone call to Raffensperger in which Trump asked him to “find” the exact number of votes he needed to win the state of Georgia.

Sterling, a witness in the case, testified during the hearing that he had seen Floyd’s posts that targeted him or the secretary of state’s office, and that he did not like their content.

“Do you like being called a piece of fecal matter?” Willis asked him, referring to one of Floyd’s tweets about him.

“No, ma’am,” Sterling replied.

But when Floyd’s lawyer asked him if he had felt threatened by the messages, Sterling replied that “that’s normal when you’re a public figure” and that he never contacted the police. order regarding tweets.

A lawyer for Freeman said she took safety precautions following Floyd’s posts about her, which he said caused a “spike” in online activity regarding Freeman.

Floyd’s attorney, however, argued that none of Floyd’s messages contained direct threats of violence.

Floyd pleaded not guilty in August to all three counts he faces in the indictment, including one count of influencing witnesses. He was the only defendant in that case to surrender without first negotiating bail, and was initially denied bail due to pending charges in another case.

He was ultimately released on $100,000 bail, which included provisions for co-defendants and witnesses.

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