Anti-Trump DA Willis faces disqualification by appellate court, investigation by state Senate committee

 May 11, 2024

Georgia's Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may soon find herself disqualified from the massive and seemingly partisan criminal racketeering prosecution she has mounted against former President Donald Trump and several of his allies in the state.

The Georgia Court of Appeals agreed on Wednesday to review a lower court's decision to allow Willis to remain on the case despite an overt appearance of impropriety and conflicts of interest, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, Willis is also facing a misconduct investigation by a state Senate committee. Yet she has loudly and steadfastly refused to cooperate with that legitimate probe into the conduct of her and her office more broadly.

Appellate court will consider Willis disqualification

Per the AP, the trouble for DA Willis began in January when she was accused by one of former President Trump's co-defendants of improperly hiring Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor, with whom she had a secret romantic relationship and from which she allegedly financially benefited by way of his paying for gifts and travel with the taxpayer funds he received from the county office.

That led to a multi-month delay in the trial court that culminated in Judge Scott McAfee ruling in March that there was an "appearance of impropriety," for which either Willis or Wade needed to recuse themselves. Wade resigned from his position as special prosecutor that same day, but Trump and other co-defendants filed an appeal that asserted that Willis needed to be removed from the case as well.

The appellate court announced on Wednesday that it would consider the appeal for Willis' disqualification, which will likely pause the case in the interim. Any decision by that court could then be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, which would undoubtedly delay the trial court's proceedings even further.

The Hill reported that one of Trump's defense attorneys, Steve Sadow, heralded the appellate court's announcement and reiterated their goal of seeing the district attorney disqualified from the partisan prosecutorial effort.

Sadow said in a statement, "President Trump looks forward to presenting interlocutory arguments to the Georgia Court of Appeals as to why the case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for her misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution."

Willis refusing to cooperate with state Senate investigation

Coinciding with all of that, the Georgia Recorder reported this week that DA Willis is embroiled in a probe by a special Republican-led state Senate investigative committee on allegations of financial and prosecutorial misconduct, which she has refused to cooperate with.

The panel previously requested her voluntary testimony but has now threatened to subpoena her appearance in light of that refusal.

According to local Fox affiliate WAGA, however, Willis has remained defiant, and said during a Monday press conference, "First of all, I don’t think they even have the authority to subpoena me, but they need to learn the law."

"I will not appear to anything that is unlawful, and I have not broken the law," she added while surrounded by local religious leaders who've endorsed her re-election. "I’ve said it amongst these leaders, I’m sorry folks get pissed off that everybody gets treated equally."

Defiant display of "utter shamelessness" by Willis

That defiance from DA Willis has not gone over particularly well, as Republican Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones -- who Willis tried but failed to prosecute alongside Trump and others -- said in an emailed statement, per WAGA, "If subpoenaed by the Committee, she will be required to appear, or she will be in violation of Georgia law. This is what treating everybody evenly looks like, even if DA Willis doesn’t like being held accountable."

Likewise, Willis was thoroughly excoriated in a scathing op-ed from the New York Post's Editorial Board that decried the "utter shamelessness" of the anti-Trump prosecutors, Willis included, whose arrogance -- and apparent belief that they are "above the law" while trying to crush Trump underneath it -- knows no bounds

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
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