Thursday, September 21, 2023
Chesebro moves to suppress key evidence in Trump election case
Lawyers for one of the two defendants scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 23 in the election interference racketeering case are seeking to keep out key evidence the state intends to present to the jury.
In a motion filed Thursday, attorney Kenneth Chesebro’s lawyers sought to exclude five legal memos and emails Chesebro wrote on behalf of former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in late 2020 and early 2021.
The memos and emails should be suppressed because they are “privileged communications between lawyers representing a client,” said the motion filed by defense attorneys Scott Grubman and Manny Arora. They noted the documents address “matters bearing on strategy relating to litigation which was then pending or was anticipated.”
Even though the documents have been made public, the lawyers said to the best of their knowledge neither the Trump campaign nor Chesebro waived attorney-client privilege or attorney work-product protection for them.
Chesebro, who will stand trial next month with attorney Sidney Powell, is among those charged with Trump and others in the 41-count indictment. He is accused of being the architect of the Republican electoral college slates for Trump in Georgia and six other states.
Chesebro’s lawyers want to suppress emails between Chesebro and co-defendants John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, both lawyers for Trump and his campaign. This includes a Jan. 4, 2021, email from Chesebro to Eastman that “outlined multiple strategies for disrupting and delaying the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021,” according to the indictment.
The attorneys are asking Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to review the documents and determine whether the “crime-fraud exception” would allow them to be used by prosecutors at trial. They said this should not happen because the state has made no showing that Chesebro was working outside the boundaries of his role as a lawyer for the campaign and was not engaged in criminal or fraudulent activity.
The Fulton District Attorney’s Office is expected to oppose the motion. But if the motion is successful, it could gut much of the state’s case against Chesebro.
Separately, Grubman and Arora filed a motion identifying 52 potential witnesses they plan to call at trial. They include Georgia Republicans, such as Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who cast Electoral College votes for Trump on Dec. 14, 2020. Other possible witnesses are Justin Clark, a former Trump attorney and political advisor, and Bernard Kerik, the former New York police commissioner who helped Giuliani investigate fraud claims after the 2020 election.
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