Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell enters not guilty plea in Georgia election interference case

ATLANTA — Former Trump attorney Sidney Powell and another defendant on Tuesday entered a not guilty plea in the Georgia election interference case, according to court filings.

A lawyer for Powell submitted a waiver of arraignment in Fulton County Superior Court informing a judge she “hereby waives formal arraignment and enters a plea of NOT GUILTY to each and every charge in the Indictment.”

Powell, who acted as one of Trump’s lawyers after his election loss to Joe Biden, is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, trespass and invasion of privacy and conspiracy to defraud the state.

The computer-related charges are tied to an effort to improperly access voting machines in rural Coffee County, prosecutors alleged.

Also pleading not guilty Tuesday was Trevian Kutti, another of the 19 defendants in the sprawling case brought earlier this month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Kutti is the former publicist for Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West. She’s charged with racketeering and conspiracy for allegedly being part of a pressure campaign to get Ruby Freeman, an election worker who’d been falsely accused of election fraud, to make false statements.

She also waived formal arraignment.

Both Powell and Kutti have already posted bond in the case. Powell’s bond was set at $100,000 and Kutti’s at $75,000.

Ray Smith, an attorney who represented Trump in 2020 Georgia cases and is charged with helping organize a slate of “alternate” presidential electors in the state, became the first defendant in the case to enter a not guilty plea on Monday.

The 16 other defendants in the case — including former President Donald Trump — are scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 6.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and maintains he’s the victim of a politically motivated investigation.

At least one of the defendants, Kenneth Chesebro, is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 23 after a judge granted his request for a speedy trial. The judge’s order said “[a]t this time, these deadlines do not apply to any co-defendant.”

In a separate court filing Monday, the DA’s office asked the judge to clarify what he meant with that order, and whether he intends to sever Chesebro’s case from the others. Powell also has a speedy trial request pending.

“The State maintains its position that severance is improper at this juncture and that all Defendants should be tried together, but at an absolute minimum, the Court should set Defendant Powell’s trial and that of any other defendant who may file a speedy trial demand on the same date as Defendant Chesebro’s,” the filing said.

Willis initially proposed a March 4 trial date. Trump has said all of the criminal cases against him should be delayed until after the 2024 election.

Charlie Gile reported from Atlanta, and Dareh Gregorian from New York.

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