Judge dismisses some Trump Georgia election subversion charges but leaves most of the case

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CNN
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The presiding judge in the Georgia criminal case against Donald Trump and his allies has thrown out some of the charges against the former president and several of his co-defendants.

The partial dismissal by Georgia Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee leaves most of the sprawling racketeering indictment intact.

McAfee ruled that six charges in the 41-count indictment related to Trump and some co-defendants allegedly soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer lacked the required detail about what underlying crime the defendants were soliciting.

Prosecutors alleged that Trump and some of his co-defendants violated the law by pressuring members of the Georgia legislature to unlawfully appoint presidential electors. They also brought the charge against Trump and his ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for the January 2021 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” the votes that would win him the state.

“The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance. However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal,” McAfee wrote in Wednesday’s order.

“As written, these six counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited,” McAfee added. “They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently, as the Defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.”

Though he threw out the solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer charge, McAfee said that the alleged conduct that was the foundation of that charge could still be relied upon by prosecutors as part of the larger racketeering charge that is the heart of the Georgia case.

“This does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed,” he wrote.

The new ruling did not address the ethics allegations brought against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis by the defendants. McAfee has pledged to issue a ruling on that issue by the end of the week.

CNN has reached out to the district attorney’s office for comment.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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Read More: Judge dismisses some Trump Georgia election subversion charges but leaves most of the case

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