Attorney Exodus in Trump RICO Case: Defendant Left without Legal Representation Amid Election Worker Targeting Allegations
On Friday, December 1, 2023, in Atlanta, at a hearing in the Fulton County Superior Court on the Georgia election indictments, Judge Scott McAfee is seen on the left. (AP, Pool; John David Mercer/USA Today). On Friday, January 12, 2024, Trevian Kutti makes an appearance in McAfee’s court via videoconference.
(Source: YouTube/Judge Scott McAfee)
At least for the time being, the defendant in the extensive criminal case in Georgia involving election meddling, racketeering, and former President Donald Trump is not represented by an attorney.
As Law&Crime previously reported, lawyers for Trevian Kutti, a one-time publicist for the musician once known as Kanye West, now indicted alongside the former president, filed a move to withdraw as counsel in December.
During a Friday hearing, Kutti informed Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee that she is currently attempting to secure funding to have one of her former attorneys, Steve Greenberg, return to the case.
“I will be attempting to, one, retain one of the lawyers that is on this call, and, number two, seek additional counsel,” said Kutti, who appeared via video.
McAfee said he was confused, as Greenberg is one of the attorneys who moved to withdraw from representation.
Former R&B artist and convicted sex offender R. Kelly’s attorney Greenberg stated that he initially took on Kutti’s counsel as a personal courtesy, but things didn’t work out that way.
“I’ve known Ms. Kutti for a very long time, and even before the indictment, when this first came up, I promised to support her,” Greenberg remarked. She thought that considering the nature of the work, people would be able to help her fulfill what I consider to be quite basic professional requirements. Sadly, she received no help from those individuals. Consequently, I would be happy to help her if she ever gets the chance to hire private counsel.
“I simply cannot help her as a friend,” Greenberg continued, adding that the prosecution anticipates the case to last at least four months.
McAfee said he would submit a signed order approving the request after checking with Greenberg that he wished to move forward with the motion to withdraw as counsel. In addition, he urged Kutti to get legal representation as soon as possible, warning her that if a lawyer joined the case just before trial and requested a continuance, “that’s probably not going to be granted.”
Accused of plotting to thwart Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory in the Peach State, Kutti is among over a dozen defendants, including the former president. In particular, she is charged with conspiring with pastor Stephen Cliffgard Lee and Black Voices for Trump organizer Harrison Floyd to coerce Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss into making false claims regarding the voting procedures.
A federal jury found that longtime Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani now owes the ladies $148 million in damages after he falsely accused them of “stealing votes” at State Farm Arena in November 2020, turning the women into targets.
In the Georgia RICO case, four defendants have entered guilty pleas: lawyer Jenna Ellis, dubbed “Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell, co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro, and bail bondsman Scott Hall.
This report was aided by Matt Naham.
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