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The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office responded Tuesday afternoon to Ken Chesebro, arguing that the lawyer-turned-RICO defendant’s bid to derail his Georgia criminal case lacked legal substance.
Chesebro, the lawyer who drafted a legal memo asserting that then-Vice President Mike Pence could reverse the election in then-President Donald Trump’s favor on Jan. 6, previously filed a motion ahead of his speedily approaching trial to either dismiss the indictment or obtain immunity from prosecution under the theory that his alleged conduct was justified.
In other words, Chesebro asserted he was merely working “within his capacity as a lawyer” for former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign “in researching and finding precedents in order to form a legal opinion which was then supplied to his client.”
Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ (D) team responded to that argument by saying Chesebro can save it for the jury.
“This motion, like many of the motions filed by the Defendant to this point, cites to no law in support of its position,” the reply began. “It conflates dismissal of an indictment or a finding of immunity with the assertion of an affirmative defense, and it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the limited statutory authority to grant immunity provided by law. ”
The “justification” affirmative defense is something that generally “cannot be raised prior to trial,” the response continued.
“Affirmative defenses, with limited exceptions concerning statutes that expressly provide for immunity, discussed infra, are determinations of fact to be made by the jury,” the DA’s office said — but only “if there is some evidence presented at trial to support them.”
Describing Chesebro’s “reliance” on “catch-all provisions” as “misguided and unsupported by law,” the DA’s office requested that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee reject the motion to dismiss/motion for immunity out of hand.
“The Defendant has cited to no statute, no case, and no other provision of law that would authorize this Court to dismiss the indictment or grant him immunity based on a pre-trial assertion of the purported justification defenses raised in his motion, and the Court should deny his motion,” the state response said, urging the judge to issue the requested denial “without a hearing.”
Chesebro recently filed a motion to suppress email evidence from his case, arguing that the evidence was illegally seized and that a special master should have been appointed to review said evidence for potentially privileged communications.
Read Willis’ latest response to Chesebro here.
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