Rudy Giuliani Pleads Not Guilty to Georgia Election Racketeering Charges – On Friday, Rudy Giuliani entered a plea of not guilty in the Georgia case, wherein he is accused, along with former President Donald Trump and others, of attempting to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 election in the state. Alongside this plea, the former New York mayor and Trump’s attorney chose to forgo his right to attend an arraignment hearing scheduled for September 6.
He has joined the former president and at least 10 others in opting not to appear in an Atlanta courtroom filled with media cameras. Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani are among the 19 individuals indicted in a comprehensive 41-count legal action that outlines an extensive conspiracy aimed at obstructing the expressed choice of Georgia’s voters, who favored Democratic nominee Joe Biden over the Republican incumbent.
The charges against Giuliani, along with other legal woes, signal a remarkable fall for a man who was celebrated as “America’s mayor” in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He now faces 13 charges, including violation of Georgia’s anti-racketeering law, the federal version of which was one of his favorite tools as a prosecutor in the 1980s.
Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, has expressed her intention to prosecute all 19 defendants jointly. However, since the indictment was lodged on August 14, a flurry of legal maneuvers has ensued. Some of the accused have submitted requests to be tried individually or alongside a select few co-defendants, while others are attempting to shift their cases to federal court.
Some are aiming for expedited trials in accordance with a Georgia court rule that could see proceedings commence by early November, while others are already petitioning the court for deadline extensions. Due to “the complexity, breadth, and volume of the 98-page indictment”, Giuliani asked the judge in Friday’s filing to give him at least 30 days after he receives information about witnesses and evidence from prosecutors to file motions.
Normally, pretrial motions are to be filed within 10 days after arraignment. Additionally, on Friday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp designated a three-member committee to deliberate on whether Shawn Still should face suspension from his state senate position while his legal case proceeds. According to Georgia regulations, Kemp is obligated to appoint such a committee within 14 days of receiving a copy of the indictment.
Subsequently, this committee is granted a 14-day period to provide Kemp with a written recommendation. As dictated by the law, the Republican governor has selected Chris Carr, the attorney general, alongside Republican State Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch and Republican State House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration to serve on this panel. It’s worth noting that Still is a swimming pool contractor and formerly held the position of State Republican Party Finance Chair.
He was one of 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won the state, declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors. Still was one of only three members of that group who was indicted. Still was elected to the Georgia state senate in November 2022 and represents a district in Atlanta’s northern suburbs. It’s unclear whether the panel will find grounds to suspend Still, because the constitution specifies that officials should be suspended when a felony indictment “relates to the performance or activities of the office.”