Attorneys bail on defendant in Trump RICO case accused of targeting Georgia election workers


Left: Judge Scott McAfee speaks during a hearing in the Superior Court of Fulton County as part of the Georgia election indictments on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Atlanta. (John David Mercer/USA Today via AP, Pool). Right: Trevian Kutti appears via videoconference in McAfee’s court on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 (via YouTube/Judge Scott McAfee). Inset: Trevian Kutti (via Fulton County Sheriff’s Office).

A defendant in the sprawling election interference and racketeering criminal case in Georgia against former President Donald Trump and more than a dozen others is proceeding without a lawyer — at least for now.

As Law&Crime previously reported, lawyers for Trevian Kutti, a one-time publicist for the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, now charged alongside the former president, filed a motion to withdraw as counsel in December.

At a hearing on Friday, Kutti told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee that she is in the process of trying to find a way to afford to bring one of her now-former attorneys, Steve Greenberg, back to the case.

“I will be attempting to, one, retain one of the lawyers that is on this call, and, number two, seek additional counsel,” said Kutti, who appeared via video.

McAfee said he was confused, as Greenberg is one of the attorneys who filed to withdraw from representation.

Greenberg, who once represented famed R&B singer and convicted sex offender R. Kelly in a New York federal case, indicated that his representation of Kutti started as a personal favor, but things didn’t go as expected.

“I have known Ms. Kutti for a long time, and when this first came up, even before the indictment, I said I would help her out,” Greenberg said. “She had the belief that people were going to be able to assist her in meeting what I perceive to be fairly minimal professional obligations, given the scope of the work. Unfortunately, those people did not assist her. So if, at some point in the future, she has the ability to have private counsel, I would be willing to assist her.”

Greenberg added that because prosecutors anticipate at least a four-month trial, “I simply cannot help her as a friend.”

After confirming with Greenberg that he wanted to proceed with the motion to withdraw as counsel, McAfee said he would file a signed order granting the request. He also encouraged Kutti to be “diligent” in finding an attorney, telling her that if a lawyer joined the case shortly before trial and asked for a continuance, “that’s probably not going to be granted.”

As of Saturday, the order had not yet appeared in public records.

Kutti is one of more than a dozen defendants, including the former president, accused of conspiring to reverse Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win in the Peach State. She is specifically accused of working with Black Voices for Trump activist Harrison Floyd and pastor Stephen Cliffgard Lee to pressure Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, into making false statements about the way votes had been processed.

The women became targets after longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani falsely accused them of “stealing votes” at State Farm Arena in November 2020, and a federal jury determined that he now owes them $148 million in damages.

Four defendants in the Georgia RICO case have pleaded guilty: attorney Jenna Ellis, so-called “Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell, accused “coup memo” co-author Kenneth Chesebro, and bail bondsman Scott Hall.

Matt Naham contributed to this report.

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