ATLANTA — Only one of former President Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case has been jailed as a result of the charges.
On Friday, defendant Harrison Floyd was informed during his initial court appearance that he’d be spending more time at the Fulton County Jail since he was considered a potential flight risk.
Floyd bristled at the suggestion that he might not return for future proceedings in the case.
“There’s no way that I’m a flight risk, ma’am,” he told Judge Emily Richardson after she denied his bond request.
“I showed up before the president was here,” he added, referring to Trump.
Floyd, who’s charged with racketeering, conspiracy and influencing a witness, turned himself in Thursday afternoon, ahead of Trump’s 20–minute appearance at the jail that evening. Prosecutors allege that Floyd, the former leader of Black Voices for Trump and the only Black man among the defendants, was part of a scheme to pressure election worker Ruby Freeman into making false statements. Freeman had been falsely accused by Trump and his allies of election fraud.
Unlike the other defendants in the case, Floyd did not have a lawyer reach a bond agreement with prosecutors before surrendering.
During Friday’s hearing, Richardson asked Floyd if he had an attorney and he said he did not. He said the ones he’d spoken to cost between $40,000 and $100,000, and “I can’t put my family in that kind of debt.”
He added that’d he’d requested a public defender and was denied one. The judge told him he did not qualify for one.
Richardson added that the judge who’ll be presiding over the election interference case, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, “will go through the process if you choose to represent yourself and to not retain a lawyer. He will go through that process and those questions with you.”
Richardson said one of the reasons she was denying him bond on Friday was a pending case for allegedly assaulting a federal officer earlier this year.
According to an affidavit in that case, Floyd attacked a pair of FBI special agents who served him with a federal grand jury subpoena at his Maryland home for special counsel Jack Smith’s election probe.
“I do find that based on the open charge against you there are grounds for bond to be denied at this point,” Richardson said. “So I’m going to go ahead and find that you are at risk to commit additional felonies and a potential risk to flee the jurisdiction.”
She also told Floyd that the issue is ultimately “not going to be decided by me. It’s going to be decided by the judge who was assigned to handle your case.”
A date for Floyd’s next court appearance has yet to be set.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had set a deadline of noon Friday for all of the defendants to surrender. The last of the defendants to turn himself in was Stephen Lee, an Illinois-based pastor who allegedly enlisted Floyd to help pressure Freeman.