Former President Donald Trump has now been indicted in a fourth case, the latest in Georgia. Trump and 18 others are being charged over the alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 general election defeat in the state.
Martha Ginn, PhD, professor of political science at Augusta University, is an expert on the judicial process, constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ginn said this indictment has significant differences compared to the other federal indictments.
“First, the federal indictment on the matters related to the Jan. 6 insurrection named only former President Donald Trump, and was much more narrowly focused,” Ginn said. "The assumption is that was intentional to expedite that trial. The federal indictment for the classified documents was a little broader in terms of charges and had a few named co-defendants. The Georgia indictment is fairly sweeping, both in terms of charges and the number of people indicted. There are many possible implications from the breadth of this indictment.”
She added while the district attorney in the case wants the trial to begin within six months, so many defendants filing various legal motions can slow things down.
Also, Ginn said with this many people involved, there’s a chance one or more will take plea deals and change the dynamics of the trail altogether.
Since Trump is facing more than one trial, how the legal process plays out in regard to the calendar could be dictated by which case is ready to proceed first.
Ginn said theoretically, all these prosecutions should operate independently and should not be coordinating with each other on any matters, even with regard to scheduling.
That’s easier said than done since this is an unprecedented scenario, with Trump facing two federal indictments and two state indictments in different states.
“Some level of coordination is going to have to be done. This will likely come down to two factors. First, which prosecutor is ready to go first. This might be the Jan. 6 federal prosecution since it is the simplest one. The second factor will be how former President Trump’s lawyers handle requests for delays, given the other cases and the upcoming election. I would assume once one trial begins, other judges will feel pressure to grant continuances for their trials until after that one concludes,” Ginn said.
Martha Ginn, PhD, professor of political science at Augusta University, is an expert on the judicial process, constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginn is available to speak with media about this topic — simply click on her icon to arrange an interview today.
Martha Ginn, PhD Professor
Dr. Martha Ginn is a political expert on the judicial process, constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court.