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Law Expert Believes DA Fani Willis Could Be Walking Into A Legal ‘Trap’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A legal expert has said he believes Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is slow-walking into a “trap” regarding an appeal to remove a case to a federal court and out of her jurisdiction.

The expert’s warning came after former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was unsuccessful in his first attempt to move charges filed against him by Willis to a federal court, leading him to file an appeal with the 11th Circuit Court, which has sought a brief from the DA seeking her opinion on whether federal officials are generally eligible for immunity of the kind being sought by Meadows.

Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University, noted on the X platform that even if Willis wins the review, it will be short-lived and meaningless.

“I think this is a trap that Fani Willis should not walk into,” Kreis wrote. “The consensus has generally been (and I think correct) that the current status of the defendant does not matter but what does matter is whether the acts that undergird the legal action are related to official duties.”

“Willis should shut this down despite it maybe giving Meadows a defeat,” continued Kreis. “First, it is a nasty kind of textualism that conservatives like and liberals should reject. Second, it introduces more unnecessary confusion and opens the door to a greater likelihood of Supreme Court review. Third, it makes little theoretical sense. If the idea of removal is to provide a neutral venue to persons employed by the gov’t or empowered by federal law from vindictive actions in state court, then the D’s current status is irrelevant. It’s about protecting federal integrity.”

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Concluded Kreis: “Willis should politely decline the invitation to derail litigation and upend the removal statute.”

Another attorney and legal commentator, Bradley Moss, noted in response, “I concur.”

Meadows has been indicted along with former President Donald Trump and 17 others on allegations they colluded to overturn the election results in Georgia. The first co-defendant in Willis’ cases has entered a plea of guilty in a deal made with the top prosecutor.

“Bail bondsman Scott Hall on Friday became the first defendant in the Fulton County election interference case to take a plea agreement with prosecutors, signaling the probe has entered a dynamic new phase,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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“During an impromptu hearing before Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Hall, with his attorney by his side, pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of election duties,” the outlet noted further.

“Hall agreed to testify truthfully when called, five years probation, a $5,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and a ban on polling and election administration-related activities. He also recorded a statement for prosecutors and pledged to pen a letter of apology to Georgia voters,” the AJC added.

The plea deal is seen as a huge win for Fulton County prosecutors, the paper noted, as they prepared for at least two sets of trials that involve the remaining 18 co-defendants, one of whom is Trump. The first two defendants to go on trial are Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro; that trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 20.

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Trump initially hinted that he would attempt to get his case removed from Willis’ jurisdiction, but he has since changed course.

Meanwhile, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig has warned that “removal” is still a big issue for Willis.

“The other big issue – and we just said this word – is removal. Get ready for a lot of talk about removal,” he said earlier this month. “In a nutshell, what this means is, if a federal official gets charged with a state crime that relates to that federal official’s official job duties, you can get the case removed.”

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