Appeals court to hear arguments over Fani Willis' removal one month before election

 June 4, 2024

While former President Donald Trump and several of his codefendants complained earlier this year that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis suffered from a conflict of interest, Judge Scott McAfee disagreed.

However, a hearing was announced this week that could see Willis removed from the case just one month before Election Day. 

Trump attorney looks forward to appeal

According to Breitbart, the Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia revealed that it will hear arguments regarding Willis on October 4.

Defense attorney Steve Sadow released a statement saying that Trump's team looks "forward to presenting argument before Judges Brown, Markel, and Land on why this case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for the trial court's acknowledged 'odor of mendacity' misconduct in violation of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct."

At issue is Willis' romantic relationship with fellow prosecutor Nathan Wade. McAfee agreed that their connection created an "appearance of impropriety."

"As the case moves forward, reasonable members of the public could easily be left to wonder whether the financial exchanges have continued resulting in some form of benefit to the District Attorney, or even whether the romantic relationship has resumed," NBC News quoted the judge as writing.

Willis praised Wade as "an outstanding advocate"

Nevertheless, McAfee concluded that no "actual conflict" had taken place and that the appearance of impropriety could be remedied by having Wade leave Willis' office.

"Without sufficient evidence that the District Attorney acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case, the Defendants' claims of an actual conflict must be denied," he insisted.

Wade stepped down hours after McAfee's decision, and his resignation was met with a statement from Willis which praised him for being "an outstanding advocate."

Trump and his codefendants responded by seeking relief from the appellate court, which indicated last month that it would consider their appeal.

Willis' removal could lead to Trump's case being "scuttled"

Washington Post contributor Amy Gardner noted in March that should Willis be removed then "the case against Trump would almost certainly be delayed if not scuttled altogether."

"It would fall to a state panel called the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia to identify a new prosecutor to take on the case," Gardner explained.

"That could take months or even years," she continued before adding, "The new prosecutor would have sole discretion on whether to proceed with the case."

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