Trump Win: Appeals Court To Review Decision Allowing DA Fani Willis To Stay On Case
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 15, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)

A Georgia appellate court agreed on Wednesday to hear a challenge to the ruling that allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to continue leading a 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies despite her romance with a subordinate.

The Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia released a brief order that said the request from the defense seeking a review of a lower-court decision in March had been granted and noted the appellant may file a notice of appeal within 10 days.

At issue is Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee’s determination that the defendants failed to prove a conflict of interest existed due to a romance between Willis and her special prosecutor in the case, Nathan Wade. However, the judge raised concerns about the “appearance of impropriety” and only allowed Willis to press forward after Wade resigned. Her other option was to step down.

Trump and some of his co-defendants argued that Willis should be disqualified and that the case be dismissed, claiming the office romance flush with gifts and trips “created an appearance of impropriety in this case that cast a pall over these entire proceedings.” Willis then filed a motion insisting there was “no basis” to grant a review of the lower-court order.

The Washington Post reported that Trump and his co-defendants are expected to ask the appeals to stay the proceedings while the appeal plays out after McAfee said he would not pause the process. A trial date has not yet been set, but CNN reported Willis hoped to have it before the 2024 election.

Trump and 18 co-defendants pleaded not guilty to a bevy of charges in the Georgia election case, but four of them have since taken plea deals. As Trump seeks a second White House term, the former president has broadly denied wrongdoing across multiple cases. One election-related “hush money” case in New York has gone to trial while a judge delayed a federal classified documents case trial indefinitely. The Supreme Court is considering an immunity question in a federal election case.


Willis, who is also seeking re-election, is facing GOP-led investigations in the U.S. House and Georgia state Senate. She recently skipped a debate, leaving her challenger for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the DA race, attorney Christian Wise Smith, to face off against an empty podium. Her office declined the invitation, citing concerns about Willis being limited in what she could say regarding ongoing litigation. The primary is set for May 21.

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