One of Donald Trump’s co-defendants cited Young Thug’s slow-moving RICO case in a motion requesting a separate trial. According to the documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Trump’s co-defendant Ray Smith pushed for a separate trial in the Georgia election interference case on Thursday (August 31).
Smith’s attorneys claimed it would be too complicated for jurors to try him alongside Trump and 17 other co-defendants. Smith’s lawyers argued for severing the defendants into “manageable groups” to avoid the same problems faced in Young Thug’s YSL RICO case.
“This solution will also reduce the amount of time any jury will be required to be empaneled,” Smith’s legal team wrote. “The experience learned by this Court in the YSL gang trial – jury selection that lasted (and is still in progress) over eight months, and a trial that is expected to last another eight months (at least) – is a lesson learned that should inform any Court about the dangers of pursuing a joint trial for over a dozen defendants.”
The lawyers added, “The prosecution, no doubt, will protest that the defendants were part of a nationwide enterprise. The defense will vigorously contest this at trial, but the argument is irrelevant to the issue of severance. The prosecution cannot dictate the length of trial, and the prejudice suffered by the defendants (and the judge, and the jury, and the judicial system in general) simply by overcharging a case and exaggerating the scope of its enterprise.”
Smith’s attorney Don Samuel represented Gunna in the YSL RICO case. Gunna accepted a plea deal while Young Thug and others await trial in Fulton County.
Trump, Smith and their co-defendants also face RICO charges in Fulton County. Prosecutors accuse the former president and his allies of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Smith was charged with violating Georgia’s RICO Act, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiracy to commit filing false documents, conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, making false statements and writings and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. He was released on a $50,000 bond in August.