Politics

Georgia Judge Allows Trump, Co-Defendants To Appeal Fani Willis Disqualification Decision

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


The Georgia judge overseeing the 2020 election meddling case against the former president declared that former President Donald Trump and his associates could file an appeal against the ruling that rejected the disqualification of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wills.

“Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee on Wednesday issued a certificate of immediate review, allowing Trump and eight co-defendants to seek an appeal of the order. The Georgia Court of Appeals has 45 days to decide whether they will hear the case from March 15, when the order was issued. Under Georgia law, the Georgia Court of Appeals is not required to hear the case,” Fox News reported.

Willis narrowly survived her disqualification hearing last week and will be allowed to continue on the case against Trump — but controversy has followed her ever since.

Judge McAfee decided not to disqualify Willis from leading the Trump case, provided that she gets rid of her romantic partner, Nathan Wade, who has since stepped away.

In light of McAfee’s criticism of Willis’s actions, legal experts now believe that her case against Trump and her own career would both benefit from her resignation.

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Even though the judge did not find Willis guilty of perjury or financial misconduct involving Wade, the judge did note that her actions were troubling.

In his decision from last week, McAfee hinted at an “odor of mendacity” in Willis’s testimony concerning her relationship with Wade, who resigned in response to the judge’s remarks. There are eighteen co-defendants in the case against Trump, which centers on allegations of a conspiracy to sway the 2020 presidential election.

Willis may face challenges to her law license from the State Bar of Georgia, even though the ruling permits her to pursue the case. Based on available information, experts do not believe the challenges will succeed, but Willis may encounter resistance from other state regulators.

Shortly after the decision, trial attorney and adjunct professor Andrew George of the Georgetown Law Center told USA TODAY, “She survived today; she survived this opinion, but this is not going away.”

“The scrutiny is going to only build and build because her presentation and Mr. Wade’s presentation during this process were not convincing.” George continued, “If it were proven that she lied under oath, I think that would be grounds for disbarment. However, that would probably require more proof than currently exists.”

It is unlikely that Willis will face disciplinary action from the State Bar, according to Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University.

“Whether that’s a relationship or dating or just flirting, that’s really something that’s so subjective and so beholden in the eye of the beholder, that you can’t really prove that with a kind of degree of accuracy,” he explained to USA Today.

“Unless there’s just incredibly inculpatory evidence to suggest that she received some kind of kickback, I just don’t see anything really coming out from that.”

He continued, “Judge McAfee’s opinion is written in such a way that is thorough enough and detailed enough, and the findings of fact are sufficiently in the DA’s favor here, that there is a really minuscule likelihood that this will be taken up on appeal.”

Another legal analyst has spoken out against Willis as the embattled DA faces more scrutiny over her behavior.

On Friday, legal analyst and attorney Harry Litman suggested that Willis’ prosecution of Trump is still “tainted,” even though the special prosecutor she hired, Nathan Wade, has since resigned his position and left the case.

Willis has been spearheading the investigation that resulted in a criminal indictment against Trump for his purported attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election in the state.

Trump, along with numerous other co-defendants, faces charges of racketeering in the case, to which he pleaded not guilty during his arraignment hearing.

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Willis and her office have faced controversy over allegations made by the legal team of co-defendant Mike Roman. They assert that Willis had an improper romantic relationship with Wade, an outside lawyer who the district attorney hired to help with the Trump investigation. Roman, who has also please

d not guilty to all charges in the case, is at the center of these allegations, Newsweek noted.

Willis vehemently denied that her relationship with Wade influenced the merits of the case against Trump. However, following a hearing on the matter, Judge Scott McAfee ordered that to address the situation, either Willis or Wade would have to step down. Wade left the case shortly after the ruling was issued.

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