Trump wants ruling overturned on Fani Willis decision

 March 31, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has petitioned a Georgia appeals court to disqualify the district attorney prosecuting him for allegations related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, citing a romantic relationship between the prosecutor and a former top deputy.

In a legal filing submitted on Friday, Trump, along with eight co-defendants, urged the appeals court to overturn a recent ruling by a Fulton County judge that permitted Fani Willis, the district attorney, to proceed with the prosecution.

The appeal

This appeal marks another attempt by the former president to stop or slow one of the four criminal cases he currently faces.

Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee, while critical of the relationship between Willis and Nathan Wade, an external lawyer enlisted to assist with the prosecution, dismissed claims from the defense that the romantic involvement presented a conflict of interest warranting Willis' removal from the case. Wade withdrew from the case following the judge's directive.

Trump's defense attorney, Steve Sadow, contended in a statement that McAfee should have outright dismissed the indictment or, at the very least, disqualified Willis and her office from prosecuting the case.

Co-defendants join

Christopher Anulewicz, representing co-defendant Robert Cheeley, argued in a court brief that failure to disqualify Willis and her office could invalidate the trials in the case.

The appeals court now has 45 days to determine whether to review the matter. Although McAfee granted Trump and other defendants permission to appeal immediately, he indicated that the case would proceed toward trial during the appeal process.

Should the court agree to hear the case, Trump might seek to halt the proceedings while the appeal unfolds. No trial date has been scheduled yet.

The Willis controversy continues

McAfee's ruling followed a tumultuous period for Willis, who faced intense questioning from defense attorneys regarding potential benefits derived from her relationship with Wade.

Trump's legal team also accused Willis of exacerbating racial tensions and providing misleading information to the court regarding the timeline of the romantic involvement.

Willis refuted claims of improper benefits from the relationship, asserting that expenses were shared evenly between her and Wade. She maintained that the romance had no bearing on the criminal case.

Willis portrayed the disqualification attempt as a diversionary tactic from the racketeering and other charges against Trump and 14 co-defendants accused of plotting to overturn Georgia's election results in 2020.

Four other co-defendants have already pleaded guilty as part of agreements with prosecutors as the battle continues against Trump and his allies in key Georgia legal battle.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.