A judge declined Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ request to revoke bond for a co-defendant of former President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Willis filed a motion last week asking the court to revoke bond for Harrison William Prescott Floyd, former director of Black Voices for Trump, over social media posts that prosecutors claimed intimidated witnesses in violation of his release terms. Judge Scott McAfee allowed Floyd to avoid jail Tuesday but did say his conditions of release would be modified to prohibit public comment about witnesses.
“A trial court has to balance the rights of the accused as well as the public safety interests that are raised by any particular case,” McAfee said during the hearing. “But I’ll also note that a defendant is generally allowed to publicly criticize the merits of the case, to say that the prosecution doesn’t have a case, to challenge the strength of the evidence, to speak his mind. And I don’t see anything in this consent bond order that limited general criticism of the state’s case.”
Prosecutors’ motion flagged a number of Floyd’s posts, including ones about witness Ruby Freeman and co-defendant Jenna Ellis, as “intentional and flagrant violations of the conditions of release.”
“[S]ince his release from custody, the Defendant has engaged in a pattern of intimidation toward known codefendants and witnesses, direct and indirect communication about the facts of this case to known codefendants and witnesses, and obstruction of the administration of justice in direct violation of this Court’s order,” the motion said.
McAfee said Floyd’s conduct didn’t cross the line into witness intimidation, though he noted Floyd seems willing to “boldly explore” where that line is.
BREAKING: Judge Scott McAfee denies motion to revoke bond of Harrison Floyd, one of Trump’s co-defendants in the Fulton County election interference case.
Floyd will not be taken into custody, but his conditions of release will be amended, per Judge McAfee. https://t.co/KyCUSgyXBy
— Anna Bower (@AnnaBower) November 21, 2023
“It becomes a much closer question when we start talking about whether this is direct or indirect communication,” McAfee continued.
McAfee said that Floyd appeared to have made a “technical violation” of the bond, noting that the conditions of release would need to be modified.
“I think it needs to specifically prohibit any public comment concerning Mrs. Freeman, concerning her daughter and concerning other witnesses that need to be included,” McAfee said.
Floyd was one of 18 co-defendants indicted alongside former President Donald Trump Aug. 14. He pleaded guilty to three counts, including violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings and influencing witnesses.
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