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Georgia Appeals Court Will Consider Trump’s Request to Remove DA Willis

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


The Georgia Court of Appeals has agreed to a request by attorneys for former President Donald Trump to consider whether District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified from the election interference case she filed against him last year on the grounds that she is compromised.

The order from the court on Wednesday gave Trump 10 days to file an appeal of Judge Scott McAfee’s ruling earlier this spring in which he ordered Willis to remove her lover, special prosecutor Nathan Hale, from the case or her entire office would be disqualified.

Steve Sadow, a lawyer for Trump, stated that Trump “looks forward” to presenting arguments to the appeals court that the case should be dismissed and that Willis should be disqualified due to “her misconduct in this unjustified, unwarranted political persecution.”

NBC News added:

McAfee ultimately found the “appearance of impropriety” created by their personal relationship should result in either Willis’ or Wade’s leaving the case. Hours later, Willis’ office confirmed that Wade had resigned and that she had accepted his resignation. 

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Days later, McAfee granted a certificate of immediate review, giving Trump and eight of his co-defendants permission to appeal his decision to keep Willis on the case. That gave the court of appeals 45 days to decide whether to hear an appeal. Lawyers for Trump and the other defendants then asked the appeals court to allow them to challenge the ruling.

Dubbed “The Fulton 19,” the group of Trump co-defendants argue her many conflicts should disqualify her from the case, potentially leading to their exoneration, The Federalist reported.

Harrison Floyd, a former Trump campaign employee and one of the 19 defendants, has posed a jurisdictional challenge at the center of the controversy. Floyd’s attorney contends that the state election board holds primary jurisdiction over election-related violations, not Willis’s office. They argue that Willis overstepped her authority by pursuing the indictments, potentially resulting in fragmented or duplicate prosecutions.

According to Floyd’s attorney, Chris Kachouroff, a ruling in Floyd’s favor by either the Georgia Court of Appeals or the Georgia Supreme Court would signify that Fani Willis indicted the defendants without proper jurisdiction. Such a decision would not only result in Willis’s entire case collapsing “like a house of cards,” but it would also remove her legal immunity. This could potentially subject Willis and Fulton County to multimillion-dollar civil rights lawsuits from the defendants, as noted by The Federalist.

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Meanwhile, according to Fox News, Missouri Attorney General Bailey, a Republican, stated that his office would file a Freedom of Information Act request with the DOJ that seeks to uncover “activity and/or communications between Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith or Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis related to the investigation or prosecution.”

In his request, he pointed to Matthew Colangelo’s transition from the third-highest-ranked official at the DOJ to Bragg’s office, where he assisted in prosecuting Trump in his hush money trial, which continued into its 14th day on Friday.

“I am demanding the DOJ turn over communications relating to the illicit prosecutions of President Trump. This includes communications between the DOJ and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, New York AG Leticia James, and Fulton County DA Fani Willis,” Bailey wrote on the X platform. “Thanks to evidence that has come to light, my office has reason to believe Biden’s corrupt Department of Justice is the headquarters of the illicit prosecutions against President Trump.”

“The investigations and subsequent prosecutions of former President Donald J. Trump appear to have been conducted in coordination with the United States Department of Justice. This is demonstrated by the move of the third-highest ranking member of the Department of Justice, Matthew Colangelo, to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in order to prosecute President Trump in December 2022,” he continued.

“In addition, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg worked alongside New York Attorney General Letitia James in pursuing civil litigation against former President Trump, using that experience as a springboard from which to campaign for his current position,” he wrote. During that campaign, Bragg promised ‘if elected, [he] would go after Trump. Once he won election, he pledged ‘to personally focus on the high-profile probe into former President Donald Trump’s business practices.’

Missourians have the right to know to what extent the prosecutions of a prominent presidential candidate are being coordinated by the federal government, which is currently run by President Trump’s principal political opponent,” the Missouri AG added.

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