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Trump co-defendant takes digs at former president in requesting speedier timeline in Georgia election case

Ex-Trump attorney John Eastman urged the court to set an earlier final plea date, calling the Fulton County District Attorney's Office proposal of June 21 "arbitrary and capricious."
John Eastman in Los Angeles
John Eastman in Los Angeles on June 20.Jae C. Hong / AP file

John Eastman, a co-defendant of Donald Trump in the Georgia election interference case, appeared to take a dig at the former president in a filing Monday that pressed the court for a faster schedule next year.

In the filing, Eastman attorney Wilmer Parker III said that the final plea date should be set earlier in the year "so that Defendants who do not have lifetime United States Secret Service protection and who are not running for election to an office can exercise and have their right to a jury trial completed within 2024."

Scheduling an earlier final plea date and severing the defendants into two groups would allow "more than enough time" for the court to try two trials without Trump, Parker argued. Prosecutors are seeking to try all the defendants together.

"Without Defendant Trump in the courtroom the U.S. Secret Service will not be involved in providing enhanced security, and the trials will proceed faster," Parker wrote.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis this month requested an Aug. 5 start date for the trial and a final plea hearing date of June 21. She argued that the proposed timeline "balances potential delays from Defendant Trump’s other criminal trials...and the other Defendants’ constitutional speedy trial rights."

Eastman's attorney wrote Monday that "waiting until June 21 ... is both arbitrary and capricious."

A spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office nor a campaign spokesperson for Trump responded to requests for comment Monday.

Trump’s lawyers have opposed Willis’ proposal and asked for a hearing to argue against her motion.

Trump has pushed unsuccessfully to delay various legal challenges until after the election, arguing that earlier trial dates amount to election interference. His federal election interference case is scheduled to begin in March, while his classified documents case is slated for May.

Eastman, who was charged with orchestrating the so-called fake electors scheme designed to keep Trump in office after the 2020 presidential election, was indicted along with 18 co-defendants for allegedly violating Georgia’s racketeering laws.

Four of the defendants have pleaded guilty, while Eastman is among those who, like Trump, have pleaded not guilty.