Monday, April 15, 2024

Trump asks Georgia appeals court to overturn ruling on DA Fani Willis

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Donald Trump asked a Georgia appeals court Friday to kick Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis off the election fraud case he faces over her affair scandal involving a now-former colleague.

Earlier this month, Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Willis could remain on the case as long as her former lover and lead investigator Nathan Wade stepped down — which he subsequently did.

The former president and eight of his co-defendants are now seeking to have the decision overturned before trial — part of their continuing crusade to either have the charges dismissed or have Willis disqualified over her purported conflict of interest and misuse of public funds.

Former President Donald Trump asked a Georgia appeals court to disqualify the district attorney prosecuting him due to a relationship with a top deputy.

Former President Donald Trump asked a Georgia appeals court to disqualify the district attorney prosecuting him due to a relationship with a top deputy. ZUMAPRESS.com

“Defendants argued in the trial court that the indictment should have been dismissed and, at a minimum, DA Willis and her office should have been disqualified from prosecuting the case,” Trump lawyer Steve Sadow said in a statement Friday. “The Georgia Court of Appeals should grant the application and accept the interlocutory appeal for consideration on the merits.”

Last week, McAfee granted the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s request to seek an appeal.

The Georgia Court of Appeals must still decide whether to take the case on before the trial – a decision it must render within 45 days.

Regardless of the court’s decision, the move is likely to cause further delays in the trial, which had initially been scheduled for August.

Willis recently told CNN that she was hopeful proceedings would get underway before the Nov. 5 general election, but added that she understood that she was contending with schedules in three other criminal cases against Trump.

“I’m also realistic that one of the defendants has multiple cases going on and some of them have trial dates that are ahead of ours,” she added. “So, I’m always going to be respectful of sister jurisdictions.”

Trump is also criminally charged in Manhattan, South Florida, and Washington, DC. The last two cases stem from federal indictments charging him with unlawful retention of national security information and unlawfully conspiring to remain in office following his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden, respectively.

The appeal requested an overturn of a ruling this month that allowed Fani Willis to continue prosecuting the case.

The appeal requested an overturn of a ruling this month that allowed Fani Willis to continue prosecuting the case. Alex Siltz/Pool via USA TODAY NETWORK

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee ruled there was no conflict of interest that would discredit Willis from the case.

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee ruled there was no conflict of interest that would discredit Willis from the case. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The former president has denied all the allegations and claimed the cases against him are part of a political “witch hunt” to keep him from getting re-elected.

Willis first came under the microscope in January when Trump co-defendant Mike Roman filed bombshell allegations revealing the relationship between Wade and Willis.

Roman claimed that Willis appointed Wade, her alleged boyfriend at the time, to a lucrative position on her staff and then received benefits from him — including fancy vacations.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, left, and prosecutor Daysha Young speak to each other during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case, Friday, March, 1, 2024

Willis (left) and prosecutor Daysha Young speak to each other during a hearing on the Georgia election interference case on March, 1, 2024. AP

But Wade and Willis both testified that they only became romantic months after Wade started his work on the Trump probe.

The pair also claimed they roughly split the cost of the trips they took together, with Wade paying on his credit card and Willis paying her portion back to him in cash.

On Thursday, Sadow was in court before McAfee arguing a separate motion to toss out the charges against Trump on free speech grounds.

With Post wires

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