(ATLANTA) — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked a Fulton County judge to revoke the bond for one of the co-defendants in her Georgia election interference case — marking the first time that Willis has personally presented arguments in court related to the case.
“The state is requesting — so that there’s no mistake as to what we’re asking for — that his bond be revoked and he be remanded back into custody,” Willis told the judge during Monday’s hearing regarding the defendant, Harrison Floyd, who prosecutors allege engaged in “a pattern of intimidation” toward other co-defendants and witnesses, in violation of the conditions of his release.
Floyd’s attorney pushed back on the state’s assertions, saying Floyd did not intimidate anyone.
“This is political speech your honor. And they’re trying to silence it,” his lawyer said.
Willis said the state would call three witnesses during the hearing, including election official Gabriel Sterling, one of the those who Floyd is accused of attempting to intimidate through social media posts.
Floyd, one of 18 defendants who over the summer pleaded not guilty, along with Trump, to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.
All 19 defendants surrendered for processing and were subsequently released on bond. Defendants Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jena Ellis and Scott Hall subsequently took plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.
In a filing last week, prosecutors alleged that Floyd, the former director of the organization Black Voices for Trump, committed “numerous intentional and flagrant violations” of the conditions of his release, which prohibit the intimidation of any co-defendants or witnesses in the case as well as direct communication with any witnesses or defendants about the facts of the case.
Floyd’s attorney, in a filing Monday opposing the state’s request, said that Floyd “certainly did not violate the conditions of his bond order.”
Floyd’s filing said the examples listed by the DA’s office “cannot be seen as violations,” and claimed that the DA’s motion was filed in retaliation for Floyd rejecting their plea offer “just weeks ago,” among other reasons.
“In exercising his First Amendment rights, Mr. Floyd neither threatened or intimidated anyone and he certainly did not communicate with a witness or co-defendant directly or indirectly,” the filing said. “He has no idea who the State’s witnesses even are at this point.”
Floyd pleaded not guilty in August to the three counts he is facing in the indictment, which include one count of influencing witnesses. He was the only defendant in the case to surrender without first negotiating a bond package, and was initially denied bond due to pending charges in another case.
He was ultimately released on a $100,000 bond, which included the provisions regarding co-defendants and witnesses.
In seeking the revocation of Floyd’s bond, the DA’s office pointed to multiple tweets and a podcast interview Floyd gave in which he repeatedly mentions other defendants in witnesses in the case — which the DA says amount to violations that now make him “ineligible for bond.”
In its filing, the DA’s office included Floyd’s tweets referencing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and election official Gabriel Sterling — as well as former election worker Ruby Freeman, who Floyd, in the DA’s indictment, is accused of attempting to influence regarding the 2020 election.
“Because of and in response to the Defendant’s intimidating communications, witness Ruby Freeman has been the subject of renewed threats of violence from third parties,” the filing said.
The DA said the tweets naming those individuals “constituted an act to intimidate known witnesses and direct communication with known witnesses about the facts of the case.”
“WE WANT THE TRUTH !!!!!!” Floyd wrote in a post naming Raffensperger and Sterling that referenced purported election crimes. “Its Accountability Time… Unseal the Ballots.”
The Georgia investigation was sparked in part by the Jan. 3, 2021, phone call Trump made to Raffensperger in which Trump asked him to “find” the exact number of votes he needed to win the state of Georgia.
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