Fani Willis, Trump

Appeal To Have Fani Willis Removed From Trump’s Election Interference Case Gets October Hearing Date

Delayed...not denied.

Oral arguments to have Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis removed from former President Donald Trump’s election interference case have been tentatively set for October 2024. 

The Georgia Court of Appeals set the possible date for Oct. 4, potentially pushing the final ruling well past Election Day. Both Willis and Trump’s legal team were alerted of the decision on June 3, with defense attorney briefs due in late June 2024. 

The convicted former president and a number of his co-defendants accused Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade of being romantically involved before being hired. Willis was also accused of benefiting financially from the relationship. Both Willis and Wade denied those allegations while facing questioning during a hearing in March 2024. However, Judge Scott McAfee ordered that Wade would need to be removed, to keep Willis from facing disqualification. 

Under McAfee’s ruling, the defense was permitted to appeal the ruling after he found the defendants “failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor.”

Trump’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, already released a statement saying they are anticipating the trial. “We look forward to presenting arguments before Judges Trenton Brown, Todd Markel, and Benjamin Land on why this case should be dismissed, and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for the trial court’s acknowledged ‘odor of mendacity’ misconduct in violation of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.”

Judge Brown is a replacement for Judge P.J. Miller, who recused herself from the case. 

In addition to lengthy questioning on how the Supreme Court will rule on presidential immunity, the fight for disqualification will make it unlikely that Trump will face another jury in Georgia prior to Election Day.

But there is room for a date change as the October date is not guaranteed. One case party would need to request an oral argument, and the court then decides whether or not to permit that request. The judging panel can also choose to pass over oral arguments and rule on the matter based on filed briefs.

The case against Trump and the co defendants can still proceed in the lower court, however, no trial date has been set.