Georgia Appeals Court Will Review Ruling Allowing Fani Willis to Stay on Trump Case

Alex Slitz/Getty Images
Alex Slitz/Getty Images

A Georgia appeals court on Wednesday agreed to review a ruling from a lower court that allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain in the election interference case against Donald Trump.

The decision is the latest legal move in a months-long saga into whether Willis should be disqualified from the racketeering case because of her affair with former special prosecutor Nathan Wade. In a 51-page appeal, Trump and his co-defendants asked the appeals court to overturn a March 15 decision that allowed Willis to remain on the case if Wade stepped aside.

The court’s Wednesday decision likely means another delay in the Fulton County case, where prosecutors allege Trump and his co-defendants tried to interfere with the Georgia 2020 election results. There is currently no set trial date for the criminal case, but CNN reported Willis wanted to try it this summer.

“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,” Trump’s Georgia lawyer, Steve Sadow, said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

The order says Trump’s team can file an appeals notice within the next 10 days.

Wade and Willis' relationship was first made public in January, when a defense lawyer for co-defendant Mike Roman accused the DA of misconduct and called for her disqualification. The motion spurred a February evidentiary hearing, where both confirmed they had been in a relationship from early 2022 until last summer. The pair, however, denied Willis financially or politically benefited from her relationship with Wade, whom she hired in November 2021.

Judge Scott McAfee ruled in March that the relationship had the “significant appearance of impropriety,” but there was no evidence of an “actual conflict of interest.” Wade resigned from his position hours after the ruling.

In an April response to the appeal, Willis asked the appeals court to uphold McAfee's ruling and noted that the judge declined to dismiss the indictment against Trump and his co-defendants.

“There being no error by the trial court, the present application merely reflects the applicants’ dissatisfaction with the trial court’s proper application of well-established law to the facts,” the motion says. “Because the applicants have wholly failed to carry their burden of persuasion, this Court should decline interlocutory review.”

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