Appeals court revives Fani Willis disqualification threat, likely pushing Trump trial past election

 May 10, 2024

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis is once again facing the threat of disqualification after a state appeals court granted an appeal from Donald Trump's defense lawyers to review the issue.

Even if she is ultimately permitted to remain on the case, it now appears unlikely that Willis will have time to prosecute Trump before the 2024 election.

The appeals court issued a short one-page order Wednesday stating its decision.

"Upon consideration of the Application for Interlocutory Appeal, it is ordered that it be hereby GRANTED," it said.

Fani Willis disqualification...

The trial was thrown into limbo in January when one of Trump's codefendants, Michael Roman, accused Willis of profiting from her affair with prosecutor Nathan Wade.

In dramatic testimony, Willis and Wade both claimed that Wade was reimbursed in cash for lavish vacations they took together while he was being paid a lucrative sum by the Fulton County District Attorney.

In March, Judge Scott McAfee permitted Willis to remain on the case so long as Wade stepped aside, which he promptly did.

In his ruling, McAfee noted the "odor of mendacity" surrounding Willis' affair and her odd financial arrangement with Wade, which the judge called "not so incredible as to be inherently unbelievable."

The judge also admonished Willis over her angry and explosive testimony in court, as well as a public speech she gave at a church where she accused her critics of having racist motives. But the judge ruled that an actual conflict of interest had not been proven.

Trump's lawyers appealed, arguing that Wade's removal was not sufficient and that his relationship with Willis had "cast a pall over these entire proceedings."

Trump celebrating victory

In a statement, Trump lawyer Steve Sadow celebrated the appeals court's decision as a victory.

"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," Sadow said.

The shock ruling came just a day after the judge in Trump's federal classified documents case postponed the trial indefinitely.

It now appears likely that only one of Trump's criminal trials, the ongoing "hush money" case in New York, will finish up before the election.

It's a sobering turn of events for the Democratic party, which was hoping to see Trump face more serious charges before his rematch with Joe Biden.

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