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Donald Trump co-defendant John Eastman requests earlier trial date

Former attorney John Eastman has requested an earlier trial date in the Fulton County, Ga., election subversion case, suggesting 18 co-defendants go on trial ahead of former President Donald Trump. File Photo courtesy of Fulton County Sheriff's Office/UPI
Former attorney John Eastman has requested an earlier trial date in the Fulton County, Ga., election subversion case, suggesting 18 co-defendants go on trial ahead of former President Donald Trump. File Photo courtesy of Fulton County Sheriff's Office/UPI

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Former attorney John Eastman is seeking an earlier trial date in the Fulton County, Ga., election subversion case, suggesting 18 co-defendants go on trial ahead of former President Donald Trump.

In Monday's filing, obtained by The Messenger, attorney Wilmer Parker III says moving the date up will allow for two speedier trials of eight or fewer defendants to take place without the former president. Trump would be tried afterward.

Eastman, one of the alleged architects of the plan to dispatch fake electors in battleground states to swing the 2020 election in favor of Trump, also calls for the final date for the prosecution to accept guilty pleas to be moved up.

The prosecution will allow for defendants to enter plea agreements until June 21. Eastman's filing calls the June 21 date "arbitrary and capricious."

"The 'final plea date' should be established earlier in 2024 so that defendants who do not have lifetime United States Secret Service protection and who are not running for election to an office can exercise and have their right to a jury trial completed within 2024," the filing says.

Former President Donald Trump has pushed to delay his multiple criminal trials until after the 2024 election as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for president. File Photo courtesy of Fulton County Sheriff's Office/UPI
Former President Donald Trump has pushed to delay his multiple criminal trials until after the 2024 election as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for president. File Photo courtesy of Fulton County Sheriff's Office/UPI

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' office asked for Trump's trial to begin on Aug. 5. It had previously pushed for an earlier date, as early as March.

Trump is campaigning for the Republican nomination for re-election, and has pushed for his multiple criminal trials to be delayed until after the November 2024 election. Eastman's request would further that plan in Fulton County if granted. It would also allow Trump's defense to preview the case the prosecution has assembled against the former president.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested an Aug. 5 start date for the trial of former President Donald Trump over alleged attempts to overturn Georgia's election results in 2020. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested an Aug. 5 start date for the trial of former President Donald Trump over alleged attempts to overturn Georgia's election results in 2020. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Some other defendants have pleaded guilty after moving to sever their trials from Trump's. First, bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty in September. Attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro reached plea agreements days before their trial was set to begin last month. Attorney Jenna Ellis agreed to a plea deal days later.

Eastman and Trump have pleaded not guilty.

Nineteen defendants, including former President Donald Trump, face charges in Fulton County, Ga., over allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
Nineteen defendants, including former President Donald Trump, face charges in Fulton County, Ga., over allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE