Fani Willis isn’t out of the woods yet: Trump’s attorney seeks to appeal judge’s disqualification ruling



Judge Scott McAfee decided against disqualifying Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis last week from former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Georgia. Instead, he required that either the Democrat or her lover, special prosecutor Nathan Wade, step down.

Wade ultimately fell on his sword, resigning just hours after the Fulton County Superior Court judge’s decision. This may have satisfied the judge, but the defense figured Willis still deserved the boot.

Signaling a potential continuation of Willis’ disqualification saga, Steve Sadow filed a
motion on behalf of Trump and his codefendants Monday, requesting that McAfee grant a certificate of immediate review of the court’s March 15 order to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Background

Blaze News
previously reported that while McAfee did not ultimately disqualify Willis on March 15, he did suggest that when confronted with the details of her affair with Wade, as alleged by the defendants, “a prima facie argument arises of financial enrichment and improper motivations which inevitably and unsurprisingly invites a motion such as this.”

McAfee ultimately found that there was insufficient evidence that Willis “acquired a personal stake in the prosecution, or that her financial arrangements had any impact on the case.”

He did, however, suggest that the lack of a “confirmed financial split [between Willis and Wade] creates the possibility and appearance that the District Attorney benefited — albeit non-materially — from a contract whose award lay solely within her purview and policing.”

McAfee also blasted Willis for her “tremendous lapse in judgment,” the “unprofessional manner of [her] testimony during the evidentiary hearing,” her “bad choices,” and her “legally improper” remarks at an Atlanta-area church in January.

Motion to appeal

Sadow, lead counsel for Trump, noted Monday, in the joint motion requesting the Fulton County Superior Court to grant a certificate of immediate review of its order, that the disqualification ruling “is of exceptionally great importance to this case, substantially impacting Defendants’ rights to due process.”

“Additionally, given the lack of guidance from the appellate courts on key issues, and the fact that any errors in the March 15 Order could be structural errors that would necessitate retrial(s), the grant of a certificate of immediate review is both prudent and warranted,” added Sadow.

Sadow highlighted McAfee’s stated sense that Willis’ action “had created an appearance of impropriety and an ‘odor of mendacity’ that lingers in this case, as well as the continuing possibility that ‘an outsider could reasonably think that District Attorney Willis is not exercising her independent professional judgment totally free of any compromising influences.'”

Sadow also seized upon McAfee’s claim that Willis’ racially charged Jan. 14 speech was “legally improper,” noting that the Georgia appellate courts would likely go so far as to recognize it as a contributing instance of forensic misconduct requiring the Democrat’s disqualification.

The defense attorney noted the “resignation of Mr. Wade is insufficient to cure the appearance of impropriety the Court has determined exists.” According to Sadow, relevant case law would dictate the case be altogether dismissed but that Willis should at the very least be disqualified.

Sadow wrote that it is important to have the appellate courts weigh in on the matter prior to the trials, stressing there is precedent for doing so and a risk of otherwise spiking the trial’s results in a manner requiring retrials.

NBC News
noted that there is not an automatic right to appeal at this stage and that McAfee would have to grant permission to do so within 10 days of his March 15 ruling. Furthermore, the Georgia appeals court would have to agree to hear the case.

If, however, the stars align and the defendants are able to appeal the ruling, then the already unscheduled trial will likely be kicked back a great deal further. Even without the appeal, it is highly unlikely the trial will occur prior to the 2024 election, and if Trump is re-elected, then he could request that the U.S. Supreme Court have the case delayed until he leaves office.

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