Prosecutors in the Georgia election racketeering case against former President Donald Trump have requested permission to call out-of-state witnesses to testify about the strategies of two co-defendants. The witnesses, including lawyers Boris Epshteyn and Lin Wood, were previously mentioned in the House investigation of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, but the trial would mark the first opportunity to hear publicly about their behind-the-scenes activities.
The prosecutors, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, seek to call the witnesses in the trial of campaign lawyers Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, scheduled to begin on October 23. Chesebro and Powell are the first of 19 co-defendants heading to trial on charges of racketeering and attempting to overturn the 2020 election. All defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Boris Epshteyn could provide testimony about Chesebro’s communication with co-defendants John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani regarding the attempt to disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Epshteyn attended a press conference in November 2020 where Powell baselessly claimed problems with Dominion voting machines. He also requested an email on behalf of Giuliani from Chesebro and Eastman about methods to disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress. Furthermore, Epshteyn received an email from Chesebro titled “Filibuster talking points” for the January 6 session.
Other out-of-state witnesses prosecutors hope to call include Republican presidential electors who supported Trump in states won by President Joe Biden. Chesebro drafted memos outlining the strategy to recruit fake electors, and prosecutors want to hear testimony from Jim Graffenreid of Nevada and Greg Safsten of Arizona, who could discuss their interactions with Chesebro.
Lin Wood could testify about Sidney Powell staying at his South Carolina estate in November 2020, where Powell drafted a memo recommending forensic study of Dominion voting machines. Wood would provide evidence of communications between himself and Powell regarding her plans and operations surrounding the post-election efforts.
The prosecutors also highlighted key events related to the case. On December 14, 2020, an organization called Allied Security Operations Group released a report claiming intentional errors in Dominion voting machines in Michigan to create systemic fraud. Trump sent a copy of the report to his acting attorney general and tweeted about “massive fraud.” On December 18, 2020, Powell, Giuliani, and other co-conspirators met with Trump at the White House to discuss seizing voting machines. However, Trump did not approve the proposal. On January 7, 2021, employees from a forensic team that studied voting equipment in Michigan traveled to Coffee County, Georgia, to copy data from machines there, updating Powell by email throughout the day.
State election officials in Georgia and Michigan have repeatedly stated that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Dominion won a $787 million settlement from Fox News over misstatements about the company’s voting equipment. Powell’s lawyer, Brian Rafferty, argued that Powell did not sign the contract for the forensics team and that the staffers were invited to study the voting equipment in Coffee County.
Prosecutors have assured all witnesses that they would be protected from arrest when traveling to the state to testify. The upcoming trial will shed further light on the alleged strategies employed by co-defendants in their efforts to disrupt Congress, recruit fake electors, and scrutinize voting equipment.
Original Story at www.usatoday.com – 2023-10-05 19:45:49