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Donald Trump reportedly considers skipping 6 September plea hearing in Georgia – live

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Top Georgia Republican considering sanctioning Willis over Trump indictment – interview

Republicans in Congress have rallied to Donald Trump’s defense as prosecutors at the state and federal level brought charges against him this year, and the situation in Georgia is no different. The GOP controls the legislature in the Peach State, and in an interview with Atlanta Journal-Constitution published today, Steve Gooch, the majority leader in the Senate, said the party is considering whether to sanction Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis.

“We firmly believe that Willis’ office is being used for political purposes, and that it’s being weaponized against Republican candidates running for office,” Gooch said.

He continued:

There’s a lot of angry people in this state on both sides of this issue. But there’s still a majority of the Republican base who feel like there was fraud in the 2020 election, and they don’t feel like it was completely vetted properly and investigated. And that’s why a lot of these people are still upset today. They don’t feel like they were heard.

The majority leader said the party was considering holding hearings where witnesses could testify about “how the office is being run.” It’s also possible Willis would face complaints under a newly enacted law set to take effect on 1 October creating a commission to discipline prosecutors, up to removal.

Trump reportedly mulls skipping Georgia arraignment as prosecutor pushes for speedy trials

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Last week, Donald Trump made a much-watched visit to the Fulton county jail in Atlanta to be formally arrested after his indictment in the Georgia election rigging case. He was set to return to the city next week, when the defendants in the case will appear in a courtroom and plead to the charges brought against them by district attorney Fani Willis. But CBS News reports this morning that he is considering skipping the 6 September court date, as state law allows, and having his attorney enter his plea in writing. That would make Georgia the only one of the four criminal cases he’s facing where he does not enter his plea in person.

Willis’s case is still in its early stages, and Trump along with some of his 18 co-defendants have signaled they have no interest in seeing their proceedings resolved anytime soon. But Willis yesterday seized on a motion filed by indicted former Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro to have his trial start on 23 October to ask a judge to start the other defendants’ trials at the same time – unless they object. Expect plenty of them to do so, perhaps as soon as today.

Here’s what else is going on:

  • Hurricane Idalia has made landfall in Florida, where Republican governor Ron DeSantis paused presidential campaigning to deal with its potentially catastrophic damage to the Gulf coast. Follow our live blog for the latest on the storm.

  • Joe Biden will at 1.45 pm eastern time speak about the federal response to Idalia, and the deadly wildfire in Maui earlier this month.

  • Harrison Floyd, the only one of Trump’s 18 co-defendants in Georgia who was not released following his arrest last week, left jail after posting a bond, according to media reports.

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