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Judge throws out 6 counts of Trump's Georgia election interference indictment

A Fulton County judge on Wednesday quashed multiple counts contained in the election interference indictment against former President Donald Trump and several of his co-defendants.

The order from Judge Scott McAfee dismissed six counts related to a specific charge: Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer. That charge specifically relates to Trump's Jan. 2, 2021, phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which in part sparked the probe.

Of the 13 counts Trump faced, three of them were tossed by the judge's order. Trump now faces 10 counts in the case.

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The ruling is a partial win for Trump and several of his co-defendants, who filed to dismiss the counts on the grounds that they were legally deficient.

Judge McAfee essentially agreed, writing that they "fail to allege sufficient detail" in exactly what part of the oath the defendants were allegedly trying to get public officials to violate. He said the "lack of detail concerning an essential legal element" is "fatal."

"They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently, as the Defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways," the order says.

But the ruling left in place the most serious charge of the indictment -- the racketeering charge that all 15 of the remaining defendants face.

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome Ga. (Mike Stewart/AP)
PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome Ga. (Mike Stewart/AP)

The judge gave the Fulton County district attorney's office six months to refile the quashed charges, if they choose to do so.

The DA's office declined to comment to ABC News.

The motions, called demurrers, were brought by Trump, his former attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, election lawyer John Eastman, and others.

Wednesday's order by the judge quashes three of the 13 counts against Giuliani, who no longer faces two counts of solicitation and one count of false statements and writings, according the order.

The conduct underpinning those now-dropped counts dates back to December of 2020, when Giuliani made three public appearances at hearings before Georgia state lawmakers -- one in the Georgia House of Representatives and two in the Georgia Senate -- where he aired unfounded allegations of fraud in the 2020 election and encouraged lawmakers to assign a false slate of electors.

Giuliani now faces 10 counts in the Fulton County indictment.

The judge's order quashes one of the two counts against Meadows, who now faces one count -- the racketeering or RICO count that all 19 defendants were charged with.

It quashes one of the nine counts against Eastman; three of the 12 counts against Georgia lawyer Ray Smith III; and one of the 10 counts against Georgia lawyer Robert Cheeley.

Multiple defense attorneys in the case praised the ruling.

"The Court made the correct legal decision to grant the special demurrers and quash important counts of the indictment brought by DA Fani Willis," Trump attorney Steve Sadow said in a statement. "The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts."

Don Samuel, the lawyer for Smith who filed the original demurrer, said in a statement to ABC News that he was "delighted with the court's ruling."

MORE: Attorney leading effort to disqualify DA Fani Willis tells legislators how she uncovered allegations of misconduct

"We believe this is the first step to exonerate Ray of all the charges," Samuel said. "A few more counts to go."

Trump and 18 others pleaded not guilty last August 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. Defendants Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Scott Hall subsequently took plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

The former president has blasted the district attorney's investigation as being politically motivated.

Judge throws out 6 counts of Trump's Georgia election interference indictment originally appeared on abcnews.go.com