Judge denies Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss charges in Georgia election case

A Georgia judge has denied former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss his 2020 election interference indictment on the grounds of First Amendment protection. “After considering the extensive briefing, the argument of counsel, and the indictment, the Court finds these vital constitutional protections do not reach the actions and statements alleged by the State. Nor do the statutes themselves facially violate the First Amendment,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled Thursday.”They argue this prosecution violates the First Amendment’s protections of political speech and activity, freedom of association, and the right to petition Congress as-applied to their alleged conduct, and further contend that the indicted charges are overbroad,” he said. McAfee said that after interpreting the indictment’s language “liberally in favor of the State as required at this pretrial stage, the Court finds that the Defendants’ expressions and speech are alleged to have been made in furtherance of criminal activity and constitute false statements knowingly and willfully made in matters within a government agency’s jurisdiction which threaten to deceive and harm the government.” “Even core political speech addressing matters of public concern is not impenetrable from prosecution if allegedly used to further criminal activity,” he said. “The defense has not presented, nor is the Court able to find, any authority that the speech and conduct alleged is protected political speech,” he added. 
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