Why Fani Failed: 3 Trump Counts Dropped Because 'Felony' Not Specified

The judge who threw out three criminal charges against former President Donald Trump in Georgia on Wednesday did so because District Attorney Fani Willis did not specify the felonies she said he was asking public officials to commit.

As Breitbart News noted at the time, when Willis charged Trump and 18 co-defendants, three of the counts involved allegations of “Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer.” It was among the milder charges, with a maximum sentence of up to three years. The relevant section of the Georgia criminal code requires that the solicitation be to commit a “felony.” The problem: the original indictment is rather vague about what, in fact, that “felony” is.

Willis, like other Democrats, and members of the pundit class, are convinced that Trump’s effort to contest the election results was an “assault on democracy” and the Constitution.

But those are opinions, not specific allegations of crimes.

As Judge Scott McAfee of the Superior Court of Fulton County wrote in his order dismissing the solicitation charges:

The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants – in fact it has alleged an abundance. However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal. As written, these … counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited. … They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently, as the Defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.

Trump still faces all of the other charges in the indictment. Judge McAfee is set to rule by the end of the week on whether Willis can remain on the case, after allegations of misconduct in an affair with fellow prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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