The defense tried to get the charges against former Judge Richard Baumgartner dismissed. U.S. Federal Magistrate Clifford Shirley said "no." Click here, here, and here.
Following Shirley's ruling, Federal District Judge Ronnie Greer issued an Order shortening the time for any appeals of Shirley's ruling. Click here. Any remaining arguments will be heard on October 9, thus paving the way to start the trial on October 23 as scheduled.
[Greer of Greeneville was selected to hear the case after all the Knoxville federal district judges recused themselves]