Fani Willis: Trump and co-defendants redouble efforts to disqualify Fulton County district attorney

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Former President Donald Trump and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.


Former president donald trump and seven of his co-defendants in the 2020 Georgia election subversion case are seeking an immediate appeal of last week’s ruling that allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis remain in the extensive extortion case.

To appeal the matter immediately (before trial), defendants must obtain permission from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee. If it approves the request, the Georgia Court of Appeals would decide whether to take up the matter.

“It is of utmost importance to this case whether District Attorney Willis and her office are allowed to continue representing the state of Georgia in prosecuting the defendants in this action, and ensuring that the appellate courts have the opportunity to weigh in.” about these matters before the trial. “It is paramount,” Steve Sadow, Trump’s lead attorney in the case, wrote in a court filing Monday.

Sadow noted that McAfee’s ruling Friday “found that Willis’ actions created an appearance of impropriety and a ‘smell of mendacity’ that lingers in this case, but still declined to dismiss the case or disqualify her.”

McAfee ruled that Willis can continue to prosecute Trump and his co-defendants, but forced resignation of his lead prosecutor in the case, Nathan Wade. McAfee concluded that if Willis stayed, Wade would have to resign to dissipate the “cloud of wrongdoing” created by his romantic relationship.

Wade, who has testified that her romantic relationship with Willis ended, resigned after the ruling was issued Friday.

Willis and Wade’s relationship was launched into the spotlight in January when co-defendant Mike Roman filed a motion to disqualify Willis over allegations of an “inappropriate” relationship with Wade, whom he hired in 2021. Trump and his co-defendants wanted the judge to disqualify Willis’ team from the case, or dismiss it . the charges – due to a possible conflict of interest.

If the case were removed from Willis’ office, it would be transferred to the Georgia Board of Attorneys for reassignment, a move that could fatally derail the complicated racketeering case depending on who takes over.

Trump and 14 of his allies have pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case. Four defendants have alreadyaccepted plea dealsin the case in exchange for his testimony.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect which court might consider Trump’s appeal request. It has also been updated with additional context.

CNN’s Jack Forrest contributed to this report.

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