Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 18, 2024

Motion Seeks Recusal of RICO Case Judge

The presiding judge in a prominent Fani Willis case faces a potential recusal amid accusations of bias.

Newsweek reported that a motion has been filed to recuse Judge Ural Glanville from overseeing a significant RICO trial involving alleged gang members, including rapper Young Thug.

Brian Steel, Young Thug's legal representative, has submitted a 27-page motion accusing Judge Ural Glanville of favoring the prosecution over the defense. The filing demands that another judge take over the case, which has stunned the legal community amid ongoing turmoil.

Severe Allegations Against Judge

The motion, which has been characterized by experts as both severe and unexpected, cites separate instances of alleged improper conduct by Judge Glanville. Steel's accusations include claims of sabotaging the defense, holding private meetings with prosecutors, and showing partiality in favor of the prosecution.

One notable incident that fueled Steel's motion was a previous ex parte meeting between Glanville, prosecutors, and a witness named Kenneth Copeland. The meeting, which was not disclosed to the defense, led to a motion for mistrial, which Judge Glanville ultimately denied.

Concerns were raised even further when Glanville issued a criminal contempt ruling against Steel, sentencing him to 20 days in jail after Steel refused to reveal his source of information regarding the meeting. This sentencing was temporarily stayed by the Georgia Supreme Court pending an appeal.

Intimidation and Coercion Claims

In a sworn affidavit, Steel claimed the court had misled the jury by falsely portraying him as unprofessional and unprepared. He further accused the court of actively participating in witness intimidation by coercing Kenneth Copeland into providing certain testimonies.

According to Steel, the private meeting violated court rules and was strategically used to pressure Copeland. The defense's efforts to obtain a transcript of the meeting have been unsuccessful so far.

Steel's affidavit also confronts Glanville's court for remaining silent while the prosecution allegedly wrongfully accused him of misconduct. He emphasizes that such behavior compromises the court's neutrality and fairness.

Mounting Legal Pressure

Last week, another motion for Judge Glanville's recusal was filed by defense attorney Doug Weinstein, but this too was denied. Weinstein expressed his concerns over the integrity of the trial, asking, "Aren't you interested in removing the cloud that's hanging over the case right now?"

Judge Glanville’s response to Weinstein was stern and cautionary, advising the attorney to proceed with extreme care. This added to the growing unease surrounding the proceedings. Steel’s recent motion, described as a "nuclear" move, seeks immediate cessation of Glanville’s involvement in the case. Legal analyst Andrew Fleischman noted the intensity of Steel’s filing, calling it an action from which "there is no return."

Tracy Pearson, another legal observer, described Steel’s motion as not merely loud but more akin to a "bullhorn in your face" statement. This underscores the gravity and seriousness of the claims made against Glanville. Anthony Michael Kreis, another expert, agreed, describing the motion as "blistering," indicating the profound implications it holds for the ongoing trial.

With the Georgia Supreme Court already involved in setting aside Steel’s jail sentence, this latest motion introduces further complications. It remains to be seen how these allegations of partiality and unethical conduct will impact the future course of the trial.

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About Ashton Snyder

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