How lead prosecutor's resignation from Georgia election case impacts Chicago-area co-defendants

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Saturday, March 16, 2024
How GA election case prosecutor resigning impacts Chicago defendants
Georgia prosecutor Nathan Wade resigning from the Donald Trump 2020 election case could impact Chicago defendants Trevian Kutti and Reverend Stephen Lee.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A top prosecutor has resigned from the Georgia election interference case against former President Trump, and the major development may have an impact on two Chicago-area residents connected to the case.

A suburban Chicago minister and with a Chicago publicist are among 19 defendants charged in the sweeping racketeering indictment that has Donald Trump at the center of the case.

Trump and the group are accused of trying to illegally overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results.

The case is continuing even though the top prosecutor has resigned after a romantic relationship with his boss, the district attorney, was exposed. District Attorney Fani Willis will remain in place, but her former boyfriend Nathan Wade is out, according the Friday judge's ruling in Georgia.

READ MORE | DA Fani Willis allowed to stay on Georgia election case after lead prosecutor resigns

"It looks bad and smells bad," veteran Chicago defense attorney Steve Greenberg said. "It's bad enough that here's the action I'm going to take one of you is gone."

Greenberg is representing Trevian Kutti, a Chicago publicist charged with conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements. She allegedly tried to convince a poll worker to falsely admit election fraud to help Trump's efforts. Now she will be facing a new, perhaps more potent prosecutor.

"From my from my viewpoint, sometimes the devil you have is certainly better than the devil you may get. Right?" Greenberg said. "So I would rather have someone who doesn't know what they're doing, stay on a case, there's always the chance that they're going to be able to go out now and find someone who does know what they're doing."

Orland Park minister, Reverend Stephen Lee, is also vowing to take the case to trial. Lee's attorney said both the D.A. and her prosecutor should have been ousted.

"Evident that the criminal justice system is being utilized for political purposes and not to... mete out justice, which is just terribly, terribly unfortunate," said attorney David Shestokas.

RELATED | Chicago-based publicist, suburban minister indicted alongside Trump in Georgia election scheme

Former federal prosecutor and Chief ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer said the soap opera-like interruption of the case could create problems down the road.

"The only lasting possible effect is it could put a cloud over this case, in the sense that when a jury someday is impanel, they may know about this," Soffer said. "They may have heard about this they probably will and it could in some way we can appreciate effect their thinking on the trial. That's the possibility."

Soffer also said former President Trump has been handed a gift by the way the one-time romance in the D.A.'s office spilled onto a major election court case, and it's allowed Trump to underscore his contention that the system is rigged against him and it has caused another delay.

Both Chicago defendants and the others in the Trump case could see additional delays if the ruling shaking up the prosecutor table is appealed.