July 15, 2024
Trump’s Ga. Case on Hold till October as Appeals Court Reconsiders Fani Willis’s Ethics

Trump’s Ga. Case on Hold till October as Appeals Court Reconsiders Fani Willis’s Ethics

(Headline USA)  An appeals court has halted the Georgia racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and others while it reviews the lower court judge’s ruling allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case.

Fulton County Court of Appeals Order suspending the case against Trump and his co-defendantsFulton County Court of Appeals Order suspending the case against Trump and his co-defendants

The Georgia Court of Appeals’s order on Wednesday prevents Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee from moving forward with pretrial motions as he had planned while the appeal is pending.

While it was already unlikely that the case would go to trial before the November general election, when Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee for president, this makes that even more certain.

The appeals court on Monday docketed the appeals filed by Trump and eight others and said that “if oral argument is requested and granted” it is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4.

The court will then have until mid-March to rule, and the losing side will be able to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for Willis declined to comment on the appeals court ruling.

A Fulton County grand jury in August indicted Trump and 18 others, accusing them of participating in a sprawling scheme to illegally try to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Four defendants subsequently struck plea deals with prosecutors, but Trump and the others have pleaded not guilty.

Trump and eight other defendants sought Willis’s removal from the case, arguing that a romantic relationship she had with special prosecutor Nathan Wade created a conflict of interest.

A hearing over that relationship and subsequent reports brought to light an array of other concerns related to possible financial crimes including tax fraud and embezzlement that have yet to be fully investigated. However, Willis is the subject of ongoing probes by the Georgia Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. She recently won reelection in her heavily minority-populated Democratic district.

McAfee, who was revealed to have been a political supporter of Willis’s found in March that no conflict of interest existed that should force Willis off the case. However, he granted a request from Trump and the other defendants to seek an appeal of his ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

McAfee wrote that “an odor of mendacity remains.” He said “reasonable questions” over whether Willis and Wade had testified truthfully about the timing of their relationship “further underpin the finding of an appearance of impropriety and the need to make proportional efforts to cure it.”

He said Willis could remain on the case only if Wade left, and the special prosecutor submitted his resignation hours later.

The allegations that Willis had improperly benefited from her romance with Wade resulted in a tumultuous couple of months in the case as intimate details of Willis and Wade’s personal lives were aired in court in mid-February.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press


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