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Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads not guilty in Georgia election interference case

Lawyers for Powell and Trevian Kutti entered not guilty pleas and waived formal arraignments in court filings Tuesday.
Sidney Powell in Washington on Nov. 19, 2020.
Sidney Powell in Washington in 2020.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters file

ATLANTA — Former Trump attorney Sidney Powell and another defendant pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the Georgia election interference case, according to court filings.

A lawyer for Powell submitted a waiver of arraignment in Fulton County Superior Court informing a judge she "hereby waives formal arraignment and enters a plea of NOT GUILTY to each and every charge in the Indictment."

Powell, who acted as one of former President Donald Trump's lawyers after his election loss to Joe Biden, is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, trespass and invasion of privacy and conspiracy to defraud the state.

The computer-related charges are tied to an effort to improperly access voting machines in rural Coffee County, prosecutors alleged.

Also pleading not guilty Tuesday was Trevian Kutti, another of the 19 defendants in the sprawling case Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis brought this month.

Kutti is the former publicist for Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West. She's charged with racketeering and conspiracy, accused of being part of a pressure campaign to get Ruby Freeman, an election worker who'd been falsely accused of election fraud, to make false statements.

She also waived formal arraignment.

Powell and Kutti have already posted bond. Powell's bond was set at $100,000 and Kutti's at $75,000.

Ray Smith, an attorney who represented Trump in 2020 Georgia cases and is charged with helping organize a slate of "alternate" presidential electors in the state, became the first defendant to plead not guilty Monday.

The 16 other defendants — including Trump — are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 6.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and maintains he’s the victim of a politically motivated investigation.

At least one of the defendants, Kenneth Chesebro, is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 23 after a judge granted his request for a speedy trial. The judge's order said that “[a]t this time, these deadlines do not apply to any co-defendant.”

In a separate court filing Monday, the DA's office asked the judge to clarify what he meant with the order and whether he intends to sever Chesebro's case from the others. Powell also has a speedy trial request pending.

"The State maintains its position that severance is improper at this juncture and that all Defendants should be tried together, but at an absolute minimum, the Court should set Defendant Powell’s trial and that of any other defendant who may file a speedy trial demand on the same date as Defendant Chesebro’s,” the filing said.

Willis initially proposed a March 4 trial date. Trump has said all of the criminal cases against him should be delayed until after the 2024 election.

Charlie Gile reported from Atlanta and Dareh Gregorian from New York.