Jacksonville, FL - There could be a lot of big questions to settle ahead of the federal fraud trial facing Congresswoman Corrine Brown.
Brown, her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, and another woman are accused of soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the fake non-profit “One Door for Education” and using the money for personal expenses instead.
New notice of potential pre-trial motions filed by Brown’s attorney shows he may move to severe her trial from that of Simmons. Attorney James Smith is also considering a motion to dismiss.
Brown’s trial is currently slated for next month, but the federal judge has previously indicated an openness to postponing that. This is in part because Brown only locked in a lawyer last month, but the US Attorney’s Office has also signed on to moving the trial date to allow the coordination that will be needed to bring in out-of-state witnesses. There is a status hearing next week, at which time the judge is expected to determine whether to move the trial to February.
Prosecutors have also filed a list of potential pre-trial motions, including a motion to preclude arguments that the government sought indictment due to an improper motivation. Brown has previously claimed the indictment was politically motivated. She recently lost a re-election bid at the primary level and said the indictment didn’t allow her to focus as much on her campaign. She was also facing newly redrawn district lines.
The third party allegedly involved in this scheme, Carla Wiley, previously pled guilty and has been helping prosecutors build their case.