Trump’s Georgia Legal Proceedings Suspended Amid Appeals Court Review of DA Willis

Trump’s Georgia Legal Proceedings Suspended Amid Appeals Court Review of DA Willis

An appeals court has paused the Georgia election interference lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and others while it analyzes a lower court judge’s decision to keep Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on the case.

The Georgia Court of Appeals order issued on Wednesday bans Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee from proceeding with pretrial motions as planned while the appeal is underway. While it was previously doubtful that the case would be tried before the November general election, when Trump is widely expected to be the Republican presidential nominee, this makes it even more likely.

On Monday, the appeals court docketed the appeals filed by Trump and eight others and stated that “if oral argument is requested and granted,” it will be tentatively scheduled for October 4. The court will then have until mid-March to rule, with the losing party eligible to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. A spokeswoman for Willis declined to comment on the appeals court decision.

In August, a Fulton County grand jury charged Trump and 18 people, accusing them of being part of a massive plan to illegally overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election according to apnews Four defendants have pleaded guilty after making agreements with prosecutors, while Trump and the others have pleaded not guilty. This is one of four criminal cases filed against Trump.

Trump and eight other defendants attempted to have Willis and her office removed from the case, claiming that her love relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade constituted a conflict of interest. McAfee ruled in March that no conflict of interest should have forced Willis to withdraw from the case, but he allowed Trump and the other defendants to challenge his decision to the state Court of Appeals.

McAfee noted that “an odor of mendacity remains.” He stated that “reasonable questions” regarding whether Willis and Wade had testified truthfully about the chronology of their relationship “further underpin the finding of an appearance of impropriety and the need to make proportional efforts to cure it.” He stated that Willis could only remain on the case if Wade left, and the special prosecutor resigned hours later.

The charges that Willis had unfairly benefited from her connection with Wade sparked a stormy couple of months in the lawsuit, with sensitive facts about Willis and Wade’s personal lives revealed in court in mid-February.

Steve Sadow, Trump’s lead attorney in Georgia, said the Court of Appeals was correct to pause proceedings until it heard the appeal, “which argues the case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for her misconduct.”

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