The first hearing in the Georgia 2020 election interference case against Donald Trump since embattled District Attorney Fani Willis was allowed to remain on the case is set for Thursday morning.

Trump is not expected to attend the hearing, which Judge Scott McAfee scheduled for 10 a.m in Fulton County, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.

The proceedings will be the first move in the case since McAfee ruled that Willis could continue to lead the investigation despite her alleged affair with prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Trump is accused of unlawfully trying to reverse Georgias 2020 election results. He denies the allegations. 4 Donald Trump is not expected to appear at the Thursday morning hearing. James Keivom

Trump’s lead attorney Steve Sadow is expected to argue Thursday that the charges should be dropped because the real estate moguls political speech is protected under the First Amendment.

In the December 2023 motion, Sadow posited that conspiracy theories and claims that Trump lost the 2020 election through voter fraud are inherently political speech and that Trump should not have been indicted on those grounds.

Criminalizing President Trumps speech and advocacy disputing the outcome of the electionwhile speech endorsing the elections outcome is viewed as unimpeachableis thus blatant viewpoint discrimination, he wrote. 4 The hearing marks DA Fani Willis’ first move since she was allowed to remain on the case. AP

Two of Trumps co-defendants, however, have already tried the First Amendment argument  only to have their points dismissed by the court, CNN noted.

In his denial, McAfee wrote at the time that certain evidence needed to be set forth in the courtroom before a First Amendment challenge could be considered, the outlet explained.

On Thursday, the judge will also hear from another co-defendant, former Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer. 4 Judge Scott McAfee will preside over the proceedings. Brynn Anderson/Pool via USA TODAY NETWORK

Shafers attorneys argued in their own filing that he was merely attempting to comply with the advice of legal counsel when he allegedly served as the point man for the fake electors plot, CNN said.

None of Shafers activities  including the fact that he reserved a room in which to illegitimately certify that Trump clinched the Georgia vote   add up to racketeering activity, the lawyers insisted.

Though no trial date has been set, DA Willis is hopeful that they can move forward ahead of the contentious November 2024 election, she recently told CNN. 4 Lead prosecutor Nathan Wade stepped down from the case earlier this month. AP

Im also realistic that one of the defendants has multiple cases going on and some of them have trial dates that are ahead of ours. So, Im always going to be respectful of sister jurisdictions, she said.

Willis focused on the case following two months of hearing over her alleged affair with Wade, who stepped down from the case after McAfee ruled that only one of them could remain.