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Bail set for more than half the defendants in Georgia election case

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(ATLANTA) — A Fulton County Superior Court judge has set bond for more than half of the 19 defendants charged in District Attorney Fani Willis’ election interference case.


Judge Scott McAfee on Tuesday set former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis’ bail at $100,000, a day after he set former President Donald Trump’s bond at $200,000.

Later Tuesday he set bond for Stephen Lee, a pastor, at $75,000, and for Georgia lawyer Robert Cheeley at $50,000.

Ellis is accused of making false statements to overturn the 2020 election and of soliciting public officials to unlawfully appoint presidential electors. She, Trump and 17 others were charged last week in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. The former president says his actions were not illegal and that the investigation is politically motivated.

Ellis is facing two counts, including one count of solicitation of violation of oath by public officer. Following her indictment last week, she responded on social media, saying, “The Democrats and the Fulton County DA are criminalizing the practice of law. I am resolved to trust the Lord.”

According to investigators, Cheeley presented video clips to legislators of election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta and alleged that the workers were counting votes twice or sometimes three times.

Prosecutors say Lee worked with others to try to pressure Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman and her daughter after Trump and his allies falsely accused them of pulling fraudulent ballots from a suitcase during the vote count.

McAfee also Tuesday set bail of $75,000 for former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham, and $50,000 for former Trump campaign official Michael Roman.

Latham is one of 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won the state, while Roman served as director of Election Day operations for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and was involved in the plan to organize the so-called “fake electors” in battleground states.

Those defendants for whom bail has been set have begun turning themselves in for processing at the Fulton County Jail.

All have been been given until Friday at noon to surrender. The former president said Monday evening on his social media platform that he intends to surrender in Georgia on Thursday.

In addition to Trump, Judge McAfee set bond Monday for attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro at $100,000, for Ray Smith III at $50,000, and for Scott Hall at $10,000.

All the defendants’ bond agreements include a provision that they “shall perform no act to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a codefendant or witness in this case or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”

Trump’s bond agreement says that includes “no direct or indirect threat” against codefendants or witnesses.

“The above shall include, but are not limited to, posts on social media or reposts of posts made by another individual on social media,” his agreement says.

All defendants are also prohibited from communicating about the facts of the case with codefendants, except through counsel.

Earlier Tuesday, McAfee signed off on a $75,000 bond for David Shafer and a $10,000 bond for Shawn Still. A current Georgia state senator, Still faces seven counts, including two counts of forgery in the first degree.

According to indictment, Still, who was elected to the state senate in January, was one of 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump won the state and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.

“The evidence at trial will show that Sen. Still is innocent as the day is long,” his attorney said in a statement to ABC News. “We look forward to our day in court to clear his good name.”

Shafer, a former Georgia GOP, is charged with eight counts, including three counts of false statements and writings. He was one of the so-called “false electors,” and reserved the room where fake electors met at the Georgia State Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, according to the indictment.

“Listen. Tell them to go straight to room 2016 to avoid drawing attention to what we are doing,” he allegedly wrote in a text regarding the meeting, according to the indictment.

Attorneys for Shafer said in a statement to ABC News that he is “totally innocent of the charges” in Fulton County and that his conduct regarding the 2020 election was “lawful.”

Shafer’s attorney, Craig Gillen, on his way out of the building after negotiating with the DA Tuesday told ABC News that everything “went fine.”

An attorney for Cheseboro said on his way out of the district attorney’s office Monday that the bond negotiation process was a “pretty good process” and that he would “look forward to moving forward.”

“It was very straightforward, we had a meeting with the DA’s office, worked out the negotiated deal, signed the paperwork, and honestly it took longer to get copies than it did to negotiate,” the attorney, Scott Grubman, said.

Grubman said Cheseboro would surrender for processing at the Fulton Country Jail before the Friday deadline.

Asked if he was concerned about the conditions at the jail, where seven inmates have died this year, Grubman said, “Just like any jail, there’s clearly issues in the Fulton Rice Street Jail.”

“But I think its going to hopefully be as soon as possible, and we appreciate their cooperation,” Grubman said, praising the sheriff’s team.

As ABC News has previously reported, after an indictment has been handed down in Georgia, bond and conditions of release are typically worked out prior to any surrender. The bond can be paid through cash, a commercial surety, or a court program that requires a payment of 10% of the bond amount.

Trump is charged with 13 counts, including three counts of solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, related in part to the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Trump’s campaign called the indictment “un-American and wrong.” The former president contends his actions were not illegal and that the investigation is politically motivated.

Eastman is charged with nine counts, including two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree. The indictment names him as among those allegedly involved in a scheme to solicit public officers to unlawfully appoint Georgia presidential electors.

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Eastman’s attorney said, “The indictment in Georgia versus Donald Trump and 18 others sets out activity that is political, but not criminal.”

Chesebro faces seven counts, including two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree. According to the indictment, he allegedly acted “in furtherance of the conspiracy” by, among other acts, sending emails to co-defendant Michael Roman regarding Trump presidential elector nominees in other states.

Grubman, Chesebro’s attorney, called the charges “unfounded” and said his client was never in Georgia on behalf of the campaign.

Smith, a Georgia lawyer, is charged with 12 counts, including three counts of solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. The indictment alleges he was involved in the scheme to solicit public officers to unlawfully appoint Georgia presidential electors.

Hall, a Georgia bail bondsman, is charged with seven counts, including two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud. He is among those accused of conspiring to commit election fraud in Coffee County, according to the indictment.

All the defendants are also charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.

ABC News’ Laura Romero, Meredith Deliso and Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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