Fulton 19 update: Floyd’s bond revocation hearing Tuesday; Trump trial to run beyond ’24 election

Scales of Justice with the word justice over it.

by Stanley Dunlap, Georgia Recorder [This article first appeared in the Georgia Recorder, republished with permission]

November 20, 2023

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday afternoon to consider prosecutors’ request to revoke Harrison Floyd’s bond for allegedly making incendiary statements about witnesses in the 2020 presidential election interference case. 

McAfee’s ruling will determine whether the ex-director of Black Voices for Trump will have to return to the same Atlanta jail where Floyd spent several days in August after a grand jury indicted him on charges alleging that he, Donald Trump and 17 of their co-defendants illegally conspired to try to reverse the GOP incumbent Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss to the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Georgia and several other states. 

Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis cited in her Nov. 15 court filing recent comments Floyd made about former Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman, who the state is expected to call to testify at trial about how he allegedly tried to pressure her to falsely admit to committing voting fraud while counting absentee ballots at State Farm Arena following the Nov. 3, 2020 general election. He has also launched verbal attacks against Georgia election officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Floyd, a former U.S. Marine and mixed martial arts fighter, was released from custody from the Rice Street jail on Aug. 29 after posting the $10,000 cash or property collateral required as part of his $100,000 bond on charges of racketeering and conspiracy, influencing a witness and solicitation to make false statements and writings.

Floyd was the only defendant out of the 19 charged in the sweeping racketeering case who spent time in custody following the Aug. 14 grand jury indictments.

According to Willis, Floyd has repeatedly violated a bond agreement prohibiting him from publicly referring to co-defendants and potential witnesses.  

Upon Willis’ filing of the bond motion, Floyd compared his treatment to Clarence Thomas’ claims of a “high tech lynching” at his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991 when he was confronted with allegations of sexual harassment.

Willis also cited Floyd’s recent postings on social media about Jenna Ellis, a former Trump campaign attorney who recently pleaded guilty in the Fulton case. Floyd has contended that he is using social media to explain the roles that some of the state’s witnesses had in voting fraud that cost Trump the 2020 election.

Ellis was among four of the co-defendants who have provided prosecutors with videotaped statements as part of their plea agreements that require them to cooperate with prosecutors.

Additionally, Floyd is facing federal charges for confronting two FBI agents sent to serve him with a grand jury subpoena at his Maryland apartment.

Freeman has spoken publicly about how the allegations spurred so many threats from election deniers that she had to move from a Fulton County home that she lived in for two decades.

Biden was certified the winner in Georgia with a nearly 12,000 vote edge over Trump.

Fulton DA predicts trial will run through 2024 election

In a motion filed Friday afternoon, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis petitions for the trial for Trump and his co-defendants to start on Aug. 5. 

This date matches Willis’ prediction earlier this week that the trial for Trump and his remaining co-defendants would extend beyond the Nov. 5 election. 

During a Washington Post event last week, Willis surmised that the intensive trial might last through the early January presidential inauguration. Willis had previously advocated for a March start for a four-month trial with 150 state witnesses taking the stand.

According to Willis, the later trial start should eliminate any  scheduling conflicts with other legal cases Trump is facing, including a federal election interference case in Washington D.C.

Aug. 5 is several weeks after the dates set for the Republican National Convention where delegates will select the GOP presidential candidate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Recent polls show Trump as holding a significant lead over his Republican rivals for the nomination.

“I believe the trial will take many months and I don’t expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” Willis said last week.

Trump has pushed for the beginning of his trial to be delayed until after the end of his campaign to win a second term in the White House.

More plea deals looming?

CNN cited sources last month claiming that Fulton prosecutors have discussed plea agreements with at least six other co-defendants in an attempt to get as many co-defendants to turn against Trump as possible.

Ex-Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter and other legal experts have predicted that more co-defendants will seek deals similar to the ones reached over the last month by co-defendants and attorneys Ellis, Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro, and Atlanta bail bondsman Scott Hall.

Porter told the Georgia Recorder that Fulton prosecutors are likely to be in favor of more co-defendants avoiding prison if they provide information that implicates Trump’s role as a leader of a multi-state election interference plot.

Georgia Recorder is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Georgia Recorder maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John McCosh for questions: info@georgiarecorder.com. Follow Georgia Recorder on Facebook and Twitter.