Fani Willis Is on the Ropes

News & Politics

Fani Willis, the embattled District Attorney for Fulton County, Ga., has been desperately fighting to stay on her case against former President Donald Trump. But on Tuesday, a court order revealed that Georgia’s appeals court has agreed to hear Trump’s request to disqualify her from the case.

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“Upon consideration of the Application for Interlocutory Appeal, it is ordered that it be hereby GRANTED,” the order states.

Back in March, Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Willis must either step down from prosecuting Trump or dismiss special prosecutor Nathan Wade. The ruling came amid revelations of an affair between Willis and Wade, along with allegations of preferential treatment, including higher pay despite Wade’s lack of experience in RICO cases compared to his peers.

The shameful ruling was a tremendous victory for Fani Willis. The evidence presented at Willis’s conflict of interest hearing showed that she lied about when her relationship with Wade began. She should have been immediately disqualified and disbarred after that, but instead, her lover Nathan Wade promptly resigned and she remained on the case.

Related: Nathan Wade Resigns, and Fani Willis Can’t Resist Politicizing It

Despite the shameful ruling, McAfee granted the certificate of immediate review Trump and eight of his co-defendants requested, and the court’s decision to hear the bid is a tremendous blow to Willis.

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“The ruling prolongs the legal battle over a former romance between Fani Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, and a one-time top deputy, a relationship defense lawyers have used to try to derail the case,” reports Reuters. “Trump and eight of his co-defendants charged in the Georgia state court have urged the appeals court to overturn a judge’s March ruling that allowed Willis to continue supervising the prosecution.”

The court’s decision to hear the appeal before trial could cause further delays in the case, one of four criminal prosecutions facing Trump as he seeks to unseat President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty and accused prosecutors of a politically motivated effort to damage his campaign.

At the very least, the appeals courts’ granting Trump’s request will delay proceedings further but could potentially result in Willis being removed from the case.

The evidence proving she lied about her relationship with Wade is quite extraordinary. Willis claimed under oath that she and Wade were “professional associates and friends since 2019,” but had not yet been romantically involved when she appointed him as special prosecutor in the case against Trump in November 2021. Wade similarly testified that their relationship started after his appointment.

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But a former “good friend” and employee of Willis testified that there is “no doubt” that Willis and Wade were romantically involved from 2019 through at least 2022 when she and Willis last spoke, and cellphone location data also appeared to contradict Willis’s and Wade’s testimonies. Based on cellphone location data, Wade made at least 35 visits to Willis’s neighborhood before Willis had hired Wade, and several of those visits appeared to be overnight visits.

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