Fani Willis, Trump

Trump And Co-Defendants Seek Appeal In Fani Willis’ Disqualification Decision 

Anything to get her off the case....

Former President Donald Trump and co-defendants in the 2020 Georgia election interference case filed a joint motion to appeal a judge’s ruling on the disqualification decision for District Attorney Fani Willis and her office.

According to the motion — filed on behalf of Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Jeffrey Clark, Robert Cheeley, Michael Roman, David Shafer, Harrison Floyd, and Cathleen Latham — the defense team doesn’t believe Judge Scott McAfee’s dismissal of Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade was good enough. Instead, they feel Willis and her entire office should be dismissed.

Lead defense counsel Steve Sadow says the team finds the DA’s actions improper and leaves an “odor of mendacity.” The motion notes that the Court found that Willis’ actions created an appearance of impropriety and an “odor of mendacity” that lingers in this case, but it nonetheless refused to dismiss the case or disqualify her. 

“The motion further notes that the Court found Georgia case law lacks controlling precedent for the standard for disqualification of a prosecuting attorney for forensic misconduct. For these reasons, among others, the Court’s Order is ripe for pretrial appellate review.”

The defense also disagrees with McAfree’s ruling surrounding her speech in January 2024 at Atlanta’s Big Bethel AME Church. During her speech, Willis defended the hiring of a “Black man.” While the judge declined to disqualify Willis on those grounds, he simply called her remarks “legally improper.” The defense, as stated in the motion, feels a criminal defendant is entitled to a “disinterested prosecutor” and highlights that review has been granted in other cases with similar circumstances.

If the application is granted, it’s in the hands of the Court of Appeals, who will decide if the appeal will be heard. 

Trump and his co-defendants were first indicted in August 2023 following a two-year investigation on charges of attempting to change the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. 

Trump was indicted on 13 charges, and 18 charges were given to his allies. After four co-defendants accepted plea deals from Fulton County, Willis pushed for a trial date in August 2024. 

However, things stopped after Roman filed a motion to spotlight Willis and Wade’s relationship, filing a motion to disqualify her and her team over allegations of an “improper” relationship. Trump’s defense team wanted the judge to disqualify Willis’ team from the case or have the charges thrown out, according to CNN, due to a potential conflict of interest. 

After McAfee decided to keep Willis on the case, Wade, who testified that his romantic involvement with Willis was over, resigned effective immediately. 

If Willis’ office had been disqualified, it would have been transferred to Georgia’s Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council to be reassigned, which, depending on who took over, may derail the racketeering case.