Trump rips Fani Willis in Georgia disqualification appeal



Donald Trump Fani Willis 2024

Attorneys for former President Trump argued in a court filing Monday that a Georgia appeals court should overturn a lower court decision and disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) from her prosecution of Trump, alleging misconduct.

Revelations that Willis was in a romantic relationship with one of Trump’s top prosecutors caused a multimonth delay in his Georgia election interference case, including a series of hearings that culminated in the district attorney being allowed to remain.

The lower court ruled in April that Willis could stay on the case, as long as prosecutor Nathan Wade stepped down. Trump’s attorneys argue that the court should instead order both Wade and Willis off the case, citing their relationship and other allegations of misconduct.

“Once the trial court found that a ‘significant appearance of impropriety infect[ed] the current structure of the prosecution team,’ the remedy was to disqualify each affected prosecutor and the entire DA’s office,” the attorneys wrote.

Trump attorney Steven Sadow said in a statement that he’s “optimistic” that the Georgia Court of Appeals will disqualify Willis.

“The brief persuasively argues that the trial court should have dismissed the case and disqualified DA Willis for her forensic misconduct and the appearance of impropriety between her and former Special Assistant DA Wade, who was her lover and taxpayer-funded financial benefactor,” Sadow wrote. “We are optimistic that the Court will favorably decide the appeal in our favor.”

The filing also alleges that Willis made politically charged comments in interviews, on social media and during public speaking appearances, and that she initially lied to cover up her relationship with Wade.

Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing Trump’s election interference case in the Superior Court of Fulton County, has not yet set a trial date, and the higher court’s decision to hear the appeal is likely to cause further delays. McAfee has signaled he plans to continue addressing various pending motions in the meantime, though the defendants could attempt to pause the trial.

Any trial in the case would likely not take place until after the November election. Willis said last year, before the disqualification-related delays, that the case could drag into 2025.

The disqualification effort was first mounted by 2020 Trump campaign operative Michael Roman, a defendant in the case. Others, including Trump, rapidly joined his efforts, causing the case to take a weeks-long detour. 

Willis charged Trump and more than a dozen of his allies last summer with attempting to subvert the state’s 2020 presidential election results, accusing them of entering an unlawful conspiracy to overturn President Biden’s victory in the state.

Trump pleaded not guilty.



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