Washington: Former US President Donald Trump has received a setback in his comeback 2024 Presidential primaries with a Fulton Judge in Georgia, Robert C.I. McBurney pulling him up for using his legal counsel to derail election interference charges ahead of a possible indictment in the middle of August this year.
For Trump, who has emerged triumphant in his 2024 Republican run up to the primaries by upping the ante against potential rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in several debates, the Georgia indictment has come as a rude shock.
The Fulton County Judge Robert C.I. McBurney appears to have put a brake on Trump’s campaign trail when he chided his lawyers for unnecessary and unfounded legal filing ahead of indictment charges expected sometime in Mid-August, media reports said.
Trump reportedly tried to legally bully the judge McBurney of the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta to reject all evidence of election interference in 2020 polls collected by a special grand jury seeking to disqualify the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney.
In a nine-page order, Judge McBurney ruled that Trump had no legal authority or standing to throw up challenges before the court which could hold out indictments.
McBurney observed that the so-called injuries Trump claims to have suffered to his reputation from the two-and-a-half-year investigation “are insufficient or else speculative and unrealised”.
Ahead of the indictment, further damage is expected, as the office of Willis, a Democrat, prepares up to present potential indictments in the matter to a regular grand jury in the next few weeks, according to a leading media outlet.
The Georgia investigation is the Achilles heel in Trump’s comeback trail and a last straw on the camel’s back to his numerous legal baggage.
Trump has already been indicted in New York in connection with hush-money payments in 2016 to an adult porn star, and on DOJ charges and FBI investigation into his retention and handling of classified documents after leaving office in 2021.
Trump allegedly made a phone call to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, and urged him to find enough votes to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election there which went against and in favour of incumbent president Joe Biden.
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been told that he is a target of the investigation by Willis’ office , which has also warned a section of the state officials — including David Shafer, the head of the Georgia Republican Party, that they could be indicted.
Political experts claim that Willis seems to be erecting a solid case that could accuse multiple persons with charges of conspiracy to commit election fraud or racketeering-related charges for engaging in a coordinated scheme to undermine the election.
The grand jury, which recently concluded its work, has recommended indictments for multiple persons, a spokesman of the court said.
In Atlanta, security arrangements are being beefed up in anticipation of an indictment against Trump by the jury.
Officials have put orange barriers around the Fulton County courthouse in downtown Atlanta.
Willis has asked the FBI for “protective resources” at the court complex, and has had some members of her staff outfitted with bulletproof vests.