Fani Willis Asks Georgia Court To Reject Trump Effort

Georgia prosecutors asked an appeals court to reject former President Donald Trump’s request to reconsider a ruling last month that will allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to continue leading the case into his attempts to interfere with the 2020 election in the state.

The episode is the latest frustration for the district attorney after Trump and his co-defendants argued Willis should be disqualified from prosecuting the case. The group had argued Willis was in an inappropriate relationship with a special prosecutor on the case, Nathan Wade, that created a conflict of interest. But Judge Scott McAfee ruled there was no such conflict last month and allowed Willis to proceed, although he added that Wade must remove himself from the case for it to move forward.

Wade resigned shortly after the judge’s ruling.

“I am offering my resignation in the interest of democracy, in dedication to the American public, and move this case forward as quickly as possible,” he wrote to the court at the time.

Trump and his co-defendants submitted an application for an appeal weeks later, saying McAfee was wrong and that his decision “confounds logic.” The former president’s attorneys also pointed to a January speech Willis gave on the weekend of Martin Luther King’s birthday in which she defended her actions as grounds for her removal.

But Willis on Monday asked the state’s Court of Appeals to throw out the request by Trump and his co-defendants, saying the attempt merely reflected the former president’s “dissatisfaction with the trial court’s proper application of well-established law to the facts.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on March 1, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on March 1, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alex Slitz-Pool/Getty Images

“There is simply no trial court error to be found in the decision to deny disqualification,” she wrote. Willis added the speech was “too vague, brief and limited in scope” to warrant disqualification.

“Days of evidence and testimony failed to disclose anything like a calculated pre-trial plan designed to prejudice the defendants or secure their convictions,” the district attorney added. “The applicants have not identified any public statement injecting the District Attorney’s personal belief as to the defendants’ guilt or appealing to the public weighing of evidence.”

The New York Times notes the court of appeals, which leans conservative, has until mid-May to decide whether it will take up the matter.

Willis has pledged to move forward with the prosecution despite the legal turmoil. Last month she told CNN prosecutors had never stopped their work, adding that she didn’t believe they had “slowed down at all.”

“I do think there are efforts to slow down this train,” she said. “But the train is coming.”



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