Chesebro asks court to suppress use of emails in Trump Georgia election case

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign attorney Kenneth Chesebro is shown in a police booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Atlanta, Aug. 23, 2023.

Source: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Lawyers for a co-defendant of former President Donald Trump in their Georgia criminal election interference case asked a judge Thursday to bar the use of evidence obtained in a search of his email account.

Attorneys for Kenneth Chesebro, a pro-Trump lawyer, argued the search warrant used to obtain emails from his MSN email account ahead of his indictment “is defective” and the search and seizure of the emails was “illegal.”

In their Fulton County Superior Court filing, Chesebro’s attorneys said Georgia rules only allow the use of search warrants where there is probable cause to believe that the evidence sought would otherwise be deleted.

But there was “no such concern” in this case, they argued,because months earlier Microsoft had archived all the e-mails in Fulton County Superior Court.”

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Chesebro’s lawyers also argued they were not “contacted to schedule a hearing for review of the obtained documents in order to minimize review of documents falling outside the scope of the warrant,” and to make sure prosecutors would not see emails protected by attorney-client privilege.

Those two factors are “fatal to the search warrant,” they argued.

In a separate filing on Wednesday, Chesebro’s attorneys said that five memos he wrote in late 2020 and early 2021 on behalf of the Trump campaign should be suppressed as evidence because they are “privileged communications between lawyers representing a client.”

Four of those memos are “specifically relied on in the indictment,” they noted, and the fifth “has been widely discussed in the press.”

A spokesman for Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis, who is prosecuting Chesebro, Trump, and 17 others in the Georgia election case, declined to comment on the filings.

Chesebro is charged with seven counts in connection with efforts to advance slates of alternate electors who would vote for Trump in several swing states where the Republican incumbent lost to President Joe Biden, among them Georgia.

The charges against Chesebro include violating Georgia’s racketeering act, as well as conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery and conspiracy to commit false statements and documents.

He and the rest of the defendants have pleaded not guilty to the indictment accusing them of conspiring to illegally overturn Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia’s 2020 election.

Chesebro and Sidney Powell, another pro-Trump attorney charged in the case, were granted speedy trials. They will stand trial together starting Oct. 23.