Summary: Defense attorneys and prosecutors engaged in a heated argument over the jury questionnaire for the trial of Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, who are accused of attempting to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. The discussion revolved around whether the questionnaire should include questions about potential witnesses, other defendants, and key case issues.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors met with the judge overseeing the trial of Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro to discuss the content of the jury questionnaire. The questionnaire will be given to the first group of 450 prospective jurors who will report to the courthouse on Friday. One major point of contention was whether the questionnaire should ask about the prospective jurors’ opinions on potential witnesses, the other defendants, and the key issues of the case.
Powell and Chesebro, along with Trump and 16 others, were indicted in August for their alleged involvement in an illegal scheme to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. While all 19 defendants initially pleaded not guilty, one defendant pleaded guilty last month after reaching a deal with prosecutors. Trump and the remaining 15 defendants will be tried separately, and no trial date has been set for them.
The trial for Powell and Chesebro, both attorneys, is set to begin on October 23. However, 450 prospective jurors will report to the courthouse this Friday to complete a juror questionnaire. Powell is accused of participating in a breach of election equipment in rural Coffee County, while Chesebro is accused of coordinating a plan to falsely declare Trump as the winner of the election.
During the hearing, the judge reviewed the draft questionnaire and discussed the conflicting opinions between the defense and prosecution. Defense attorneys proposed asking about the prospective jurors’ specific opinions on Powell and Chesebro, rather than just asking if they can be fair and impartial. The inclusion of questions asking about favorability ratings for the other defendants and state witnesses raised concerns from both the judge and the prosecution. Both sides agreed that potential jurors could be asked about community pressures and the fear of public response to their verdicts. However, questions about whether potential jurors believe Trump and his associates tried to steal the election and their opinions on spreading misinformation were met with opposition from the prosecution. The judge expressed hesitancy towards such questions that could imply guilt or innocence.
The judge aims to have the jury seated and sworn by November 3 to meet the speedy trial deadline. Jury selection will involve individual questioning of the prospective jurors starting on October 23. Each party will have the opportunity to ask questions to determine the jury’s eligibility. To ensure an adequate pool of potential jurors, an additional 450 people will be summoned on October 27 to fill out questionnaires.
Tags: Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro, jury questionnaire, 2020 election, Georgia, trial, election case, prosecutors, defense attorneys, jury selection