Fulton County District Fani Willis on Tuesday said she expects a trial in the Georgia 2020 election subversion case against Donald Trump and his allies would be ongoing during the 2024 election and may not conclude until early 2025.
“I believe in that case there will be a trial. I believe the trial will take many months,” Willis said during an interview at The Washington Post Live’s Global Women’s Summit. “And I don’t expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025.”
As Trump takes on his third run for president, his ongoing legal troubles are colliding with his campaigning efforts, causing scheduling headaches and uncertainty for both his lawyers and campaign staffers. While a trial date has not been set for Trump in the Georgia case, the GOP 2024 presidential front-runner already faces a civil trial beginning January 15, the same day as the Iowa caucuses; two criminal trials in March, with the first beginning the day before Super Tuesday; and a third criminal case beginning in May.
The former president has pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges in the sprawling racketeering case brought by Willis against Trump and 18 of his allies in connection with the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Four defendants have since accepted plea deals in the case.
While Willis has sought to try all the defendants together, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee in September allowed two defendants who sought speedier trials to separate from the group, although they ultimately accepted plea deals last month. While McAfee didn’t set a trial date at the time for the remaining defendants, the timeline he set out meant it would begin no earlier than December.
Willis said she thinks appeals in the case could go on for years. She said that she doesn’t take election cycles into consideration when making decisions about which cases to bring, noting that many people in the US are under investigation for crimes ranging from theft by shoplifting to murder.
“It would be a really sad day if when you’re under investigation for this shoplifting charge you could go run for city council and then the investigation would stop,” Willis said. “That’s foolishness, and it’s foolishness at any level.”