Trump legal news brief: Judge says Georgia trial will be televised, while John Eastman interview raises eyebrows

Image of television floating in space above Earth with Trump's face on the screen.
Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Joe Raedle/Getty Images, Getty Images (2)
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Former President Donald Trump's trial in Georgia is sure to be watched by a large television audience, and a Fox News interview given Wednesday by one of his co-defendants may not have had the desired reception. Across the country, meanwhile, Democratic activists are pushing legal action to keep Trump off presidential ballots.

Georgia election interference

Trump’s Fulton County trial will be televised

Key players: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

  • McAfee confirmed Thursday that Trump’s trial in Fulton County, Ga., will be livestreamed on YouTube, all but guaranteeing that it will also be broadcast nationwide on television screens, CBS News reported.

  • Trump is charged with 13 felony counts in connection with his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state. He is one of 19 people charged with crimes by Willis. On Wednesday he pleaded not guilty, NBC News reported, through a waiver that spared him from making a court appearance on Sept. 6 for his scheduled arraignment.

Why it matters: Trump is a master at using social media to try to control the narrative regarding the 91 felony counts he has been charged with this year. With cameras covering the proceedings in the Georgia case, Americans will be able to judge for themselves whether he receives a fair trial.

Eastman interview raises eyebrows

Key players: Former Trump lawyer John Eastman, Fox News host Laura Ingraham

  • One of the alleged architects of the plan for Vice President Mike Pence to send the Electoral College votes in key battlegrounds back to the states and potentially overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, Eastman sat for a Wednesday night interview with Fox News’ Ingraham, the Independent reported.

  • “What I recommended, and I’ve said this repeatedly, is that he accede to requests from more than 100 state legislators in the swing states, to give them a week to try and sort out the impact of what everybody acknowledged was illegality in the conduct of the election,” Eastman told Ingraham about his advice to Pence.

  • For many legal experts, Eastman’s remarks were an extraordinary miscalculation. “He literally just confessed to the crime,” attorney Bradley P. Moss wrote on X.

  • Eastman has been charged with nine felony counts in Fulton County.

Why it matters: Last week, legal expert Matthew Seligman testified at Eastman’s California disbarment hearing that there was no legal justification for Pence to delay the certification of the election results, ABC News reported.

Jan. 6 election interference

Activists pressure state election officials to keep Trump off ballot using 14th Amendment

Key players: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, special counsel Jack Smith

  • Legal scholars and a growing number of Democratic activists contend that Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election — for which he has been criminally charged by Smith — disqualify him from running for reelection.

  • Via ABC News: Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment ... states that an elected official is not eligible to assume public office if that person "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the United States, or had "given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof," unless they are granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

  • Activists have filed lawsuits in Michigan, New Hampshire and Arizona to block Trump’s name from appearing on the ballot, and secretaries of state in Maine, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada have begun having discussions in preparation for legal challenges there.

Why it matters: Trump likes to portray the 91 felony charges against him as “ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” given his substantial polling lead in the Republican presidential primary. The 14th Amendment argument, which Tribe laid out in a recent piece in the Atlantic, is poised to further that debate and play out in the courts in the months to come.

Read more:

Military Times: Two ex-Proud Boys leaders get among longest sentences in Jan. 6 attack

CNN: 'Trump isn't funding any of us': Co-defendants in Georgia case are struggling with mounting legal bills

USA Today: Pennsylvania judge rules Trump had immunity only in civil case — Fact check