Rudy Giuliani pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges in Georgia that accuse him of trying, along with former President Donald Trump and others, to illegally nullify the state’s 2020 election results.
In filing his not guilty plea with the court, the former New York City mayor and Trump attorney also waived his right to appear at a September 6 impeachment hearing. He joins the former president and at least 10 others who forgone a trip to Atlanta to appear before a judge in a crowded courtroom with a news camera filming.
Trump and Giuliani are among 19 people charged in a sweeping 41-count indictment that details a sweeping conspiracy to thwart the will of Georgia voters who had chosen Democratic nominee Joe Biden over the Republican incumbent.
The charges against Giuliani, along with other legal troubles, mark a remarkable downfall for a man who was celebrated as “America’s mayor” in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack. He now faces 13 counts, including violating Georgia’s anti-racketeering law, the federal version of which was one of his favorite tools as a prosecutor in the 1980s.
Fani Willis, the Fulton County prosecutor, said she wanted to try the 19 defendants together. But the legal wrangling has already begun with a series of court filings since the indictment was filed on August 14.
Several of those charged have filed motions to be tried alone or with a small group of other defendants, while others are trying to take their cases to Federal Court. Some are seeking a speedy trial under a Georgia court rule that their trial would begin in early November, while others are already asking the court to extend the deadlines.
Due to “the complexity, breadth and volume of the 98-page indictment,” Giuliani asked the judge in Friday’s filing to give him at least 30 days after receiving witness information. and evidence from prosecutors to file motions. Normally, pre-trial motions must be filed within 10 days of the arraignment.
Also on Friday, Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, appointed a three-person committee to determine whether Shawn Still should be suspended from his Senate post while his prosecution is pending. Under Georgia law, Kemp is supposed to appoint such a committee within 14 days of receiving a copy of the indictment. The panel, in turn, has 14 days to make a written recommendation to Kemp. The Republican governor named Chris Carr as attorney general, as required by law, as well as Republican Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch and Republican House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration.
Still is a swimming pool contractor and former state finance chairman for the Republican Party. He was one of 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won the state, declaring himself to be the state’s “duly elected and qualified” voters. Still was one of only three members of this group to be charged.
Still was elected to the Georgia State Senate in November 2022 and represents a district in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. It’s unclear whether the committee will find reasons to suspend Still, as the constitution specifies that officials must be suspended when a felony charge “relates to the performance or activities of the office.” The three-person commission can hold a hearing for Still, including lawyers.