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Harrison Floyd: Georgia judge declines to jail Trump co-defendant before trial

A co-defendant in Donald Trump's Georgia election fraud case can remain free until trial, a judge has ruled, rejecting a plea that he be jailed for an alleged "pattern of intimidation".

Prosecutors wanted bail revoked for Harrison Floyd, ex-head of Black Voices for Trump, over his social media posts.

Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Mr Floyd did technically violate his bond, but said the deal should be modified.

Mr Floyd and the ex-US president are among 19 who were charged in the case.

On Tuesday, Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee said that Mr Floyd's bond agreement should be updated to reflect the "nuances of social media".

"I think the ultimate result of today's hearing is that it's very clear to me that this bond needs to be modified," he said.

Lawyers for Mr Floyd, 39, argued that prosecutors were trying to silence his freedom of speech. They said their client would willingly "tone it down" if the judge asked him to do so.

He was initially jailed following his arrest in August, but released after five days when a judge granted him bail.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, personally argued in court on Tuesday that Mr Floyd's tweets were a "disgusting" violation of the bail bond and that he should be sent back to jail.

"It is unfair to those witnesses," Ms Willis said. "And there are real consequences for allowing defendants to intimidate witnesses."

In one social media post, Mr Floyd directly mentioned individuals related to the case, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his office's chief operating officer Gabe Sterling and Fulton County poll worker Ruby Freeman, saying they were "the pieces of [poo emoji] you should be mad at".

Ms Willis said Mr Floyd's posts had caused Ms Freeman to be subjected to "renewed threats of violence".

Von DuBose, a lawyer for Ms Freeman, testified that both the poll worker and her daughter - Shaye Moss, another poll worker - had hired someone to monitor threats against them online.

Mr Sterling also testified in court. When asked by Ms Willis if he enjoyed being called "a piece of fecal matter", he replied: "No, ma'am."

Ms Willis also presented text messages in court from a co-defendant, Jenna Ellis, in which she said Mr Floyd's social media posts were an attempt to "intimidate and harass" her.

She pleaded guilty last month to lesser charges in a deal with prosecutors.

Mr Floyd's charges stem from allegations that he arranged a meeting with Ms Freeman, in which she was threatened and pressured to respond to unfounded accusations that she was involved in voter fraud.

He was charged along with Mr Trump and the other co-defendants for alleged efforts to overturn the former president's 2020 election loss in the state.

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case. However, four others - ex-Trump lawyers Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell and Ms Ellis, and bail bondsman Scott Hall - have admitted guilt in plea deals.