Court Battles

John Dean: Defendants in Georgia election case unlikely to go to trial ‘en masse’

John Dean, former President Nixon’s White House counsel, said it is unlikely that all 19 defendants charged in the Georgia 2020 election interference case will go to trial.

“It’s hard to imagine all 19 are going to go to trial,” Dean told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “You know, they know the consequences. They are beginning to point fingers at Trump and each other. This is not likely to go en masse. Some will flip, some will — some will do deals, some will find other ways to get out of this situation.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) last month brought charges against former President Trump and 18 others over their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. Willis said that she plans to try all 19 defendants at once.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee signaled that he has doubts about trying all of the defendants together after he denied Kenneth Chesebro’s attempt to sever his charges in the Georgia election interference case from fellow Trump-aligned attorney Sidney Powell.

Dean said that he can understand why Willis is aiming to have one trial for all of the defendants, even though it is unlikely.

“But I can understand why as the prosecutor, there are certainly benefits to having all of them there. That happened in the Watergate trials — that did happen when the former chief of staff [H.R] Haldeman, the former top domestic adviser [John] Ehrlichman, former attorney general — all of the those involved in the Watergate cover up were tried together,” he said.

Tapper asked Dean how he thought seven practicing attorneys could wind up getting involved in Trump’s efforts to stay in power.

“I have been wondering the same thing, particularly since I’ve tried to use Watergate in the last decade as a teaching tool for what lawyers shouldn’t do and been out there and really thought maybe Watergate had had an impact,” Dean said. “It certainly required ethics being taught in law schools, court-required national ethics exam, but now we’ve got to examine again, whether indeed that has worked or had an impact, or why it is that some lawyers are inclined to so easily crossed the line.”

Tags Fani Willis John Dean John Dean Kenneth Chesebro Sidney Powell trump indictment georgia